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Talking About Afghanistan

We're Here for You

Current events in Afghanistan have left many in our community feeling understandably upset. The mental, physical and emotional wounds are deep. You may be wondering about the impact of your sacrifice and service, or the service of those who deployed there.

You are not alone.

Remember that what's happening now doesn't minimize or negate the experiences of all who served there. Countless answered the call of duty and did what was asked of them. Service is never for naught. Think about the times when valor and courage changed lives for the better. Or, focus on the present and what feels meaningful to you in this moment.

If you’re feeling this way, it will take time to process your feelings. Talking can be very therapeutic, whether it’s to a local chaplain, psychologist or someone you served with in the military.

Do what feels right for you.

There isn't one way to think or feel or act. The important thing is to take advantage of available mental health care resources. Remember that this is one moment in time and regardless of what comes next, we'll get through it together.

Talking About Afghanistan: We're Here for You

Military Health System Resources

InTransition Program

The inTransition Program is a free confidential program that provides specialized coaching and assistance for service members, National Guard members, reservists, veterans, and retirees who need access to mental health care when relocating to another assignment, returning from deployment, transitioning between active duty and the Reserve component, preparing to leave military service, or any other time they need a new mental health provider, or need a provider for the first time. 

Military Crisis Line

The Military Crisis Line, text-messaging service, and online chat provide free support for all service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and all veterans, even if they are not registered with the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) or enrolled in VA health care. 

Military Health System Web Pages

There are two sources of information on our MHS websites. 

Military Medical Treatment Facilities

Mental health often provide mental health services, including integrated behavioral health clinics. Contact your primary care manager to see if this resource is available at your local military hospital or clinic. If it is, then you can schedule an appointment same day. To find your military hospital or clinic:

Military OneSource

Military OneSource can provide access to confidential Military Family Life Counselors in your community. Military OneSource also provides resources so you can manage stress and access benefits and tools that will help you stay strong in body and mind. This page provides access to self-care mobile applications developed within the Department of Defense, VA and other partners. All mobile applications are free and for iOS and/or Android devices. 

Psychological Health Resource Center

The Psychological Health Resource Center is available 24/7 for service members, veterans, and family members with questions about psychological health topics. Trained mental health consultants can help you access mental health care and community support resources in your local area.

Real Warriors Campaign

The Real Warriors Campaign aims to break down the stigma associated with mental health care and encourages service members to reach out for help when they need it. Find articles with support resources, video profiles with service member and veteran stories, and materials to download or order.

VA Resources

The VA addresses the events unfolding in Afghanistan and encourages veterans to talk with friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Here is a list of common reactions and coping advice. >>View the latest VA blog to learn more

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Need to Talk? We're Here For You

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8/17/2021
Graphic that outlines MHS's mental health resources

The Military Health System offers many mental health resources. Remember, you are not alone.

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Suicide Prevention

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8/3/2021
Social media graphic on Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

We can all help prevent suicide. Every year, the Military Health System and other mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month.

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National Suicide Prevention Awareness

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8/3/2021
Social media graphic on Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

We can all help prevent suicide. Every year, the Military Health System and other mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month.

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Army COSC infographic

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5/19/2021
Infographic depicting the Army COSC program

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Total Force Fitness COGS Psychological

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4/26/2021
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Total Force Fitness Mental Health and Psychological Fitness Ability to integrate and improve cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capabilities to optimize performance and ensure mission readiness

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Suicide Prevention C

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4/26/2021
Social media graphic for suicide prevention showing a service member helping their battle buddy climb up

“Suicide Prevention #ConnectToProtect #BeThere”

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Suicide Prevention A

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4/26/2021
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Suicide Prevention Month 2021

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PHCoE Depression and Men infograph

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4/9/2021
Infographic about Depression in Men reads: Depression, even severe depression is treatable.  Approximately 6 million American men suffer from a depressive disorder annually.  Service members returning from combat deployments have an increased risk of developing depression.  Men are less likely than women to admit to negative mood states or to seek treatment for mental health issues.  Almost 9% of men in the U.S. feel anxious or depressed day to day.  Fewer than half of those men seek help from a mental health professional or take medication.  Men may experience depression symptoms beyond the traditional symptoms of low mood, withdrawal and sleep problems, including: Anger and irritability, substance misuse and rist taking behaviors.  The lifetime prevalence rate for alcohol dependence is twice as high in men as it is in women.  Men take their own lives at nearly 4 times the rate that women do. Remember depression is treatable. Talk to your health care provider today.  Need help finding a professional?  Question on depression? Call the Psychological Health Resource Center at (866) 966-1020

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Seizures among Active Component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

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1/25/2018
This retrospective study estimated the rates of seizures diagnosed among deployed and non-deployed service members to identify factors associated with seizures and determine if seizure rates differed in deployment settings. It also attempted to evaluate the associations between seizures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by assessing correlations between the incidence rates of seizures and prior diagnoses of TBI and PTSD. Seizures have been defined as paroxysmal neurologic episodes caused by abnormal neuronal activity in the brain. Approximately one in 10 individuals will experience a seizure in their lifetime. Line graph 1: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures among non-deployed service members, active component, U.S. Armed Forces data •	A total of 16,257 seizure events of all types were identified among non-deployed service members during the 10-year surveillance period. •	The overall incidence rate was 12.9 seizures per 10,000 person-years (p-yrs.) •	There was a decrease in the rate of seizures diagnosed in the active component of the military during the 10-year period. Rates reached their lowest point in 2015 – 9.0 seizures per 10,000 p-yrs. •	Annual rates were markedly higher among service members with recent PTSD and TBI diagnoses, and among those with prior seizure diagnoses. Line graph 2: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and recent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis among non-deployed active component service members, U.S. Armed Forces •	For service members who had received both TBI and PTSD diagnoses, seizure rates among the deployed and the non-deployed were two and three times the rates among those with only one of those diagnoses, respectively. •	Rates of seizures tended to be higher among service members who were: in the Army or Marine Corps, Female, African American, Younger than age 30, Veterans of no more than one previous deployment, and in the occupations of combat arms, armor, or healthcare Line graph 3: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures diagnosed among service members deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2016  •	A total of 814 cases of seizures were identified during deployment to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 9-year surveillance period (2008 – 2016). •	For deployed service members, the overall incidence rate was 9.1 seizures per 10,000 p-yrs. •	Having either a TBI or recent PTSD diagnosis alone was associated with a 3-to 4-fold increase in the rate of seizures. •	Only 19 cases of seizures were diagnosed among deployed individuals with a recent PTSD diagnosis during the 9-year surveillance period. •	Overall incidence rates among deployed service members were highest for those in the Army, females, those younger than age 25, junior enlisted, and in healthcare occupations. Access the full report in the December 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 12). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR

This infographic documents a retrospective study which estimated the rates of seizures diagnosed among deployed and non-deployed service members to identify factors associated with seizures and determine if seizure rates differed in deployment settings. The study also evaluated the associations between seizures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by assessing correlations between the incidence rates of seizures and prior diagnoses of TBI and PTSD.

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Ways to Maintain Good Mental Health

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3/3/2017
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Signs of Mental Health Distress

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6 Easy Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

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Not all Wounds are Visible

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Recognize Common Symptoms of Those at Risk

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In support of Suicide Prevention Month, this graphic lists some symptoms of those who may be contemplating suicide.

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It Takes All of Us to Prevent Suicide

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