For the past five years SDI has provided communications support to the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). SDI’s team at DCoE recently reviewed some of the most useful advice given to our service members and their families during 2013. The team posted the following article to the DCoE Blog.

In managing the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) or caring for people in your life who have these concerns, have you learned helpful coping mechanisms? Maybe you discovered hopeful treatments, became more in tuned with your children, found expression in the fine arts, fought the stigma of mental health or embraced ways to improve your mental health. If you haven’t, we can help. The DCoE Blog brought you all of this and more in 2013 and we think it’s worth taking another look at this information. Read on for recaps, and start 2014 knowing there are resources available to help you.

Strategies to Maintain Positive Health
It’s not too late to add being more positive as a New Year’s resolution. Research shows that our attitude affects our brain, body and emotions. So, embracing a more positive outlook this year may pay off more than you think. In this post, the author describes what positive mental health is and provides examples for maintaining it.

When Words Hurt: Talking to Someone with a TBI
During Brain Injury Awareness Month, our team decided to share this post to help family members and friends who care for someone with TBI understand what not to say, such as “You seem fine to me.” Symptoms of TBI that aren’t so obvious include fatigue, chronic pain, depression and anxiety.

Frontline Psych with Doc Bender: Promising Treatments for PTSD
We often discuss current evidenced-based treatments for treating mental health disorders. With this post, we took a look at promising therapies being studied by Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs and academia to reduce PTSD symptoms such as virtual reality, fishing therapy and yoga.

Support Tools for Military Families, Military Kids
We’ve covered a lot resources and tips for military families to help manage the unique challenges they face on the blog, so we decided to showcase several of them in this post.

Art Therapy May Provide Healing for Service Members
After attending the “National Summit: Arts, Health and Well-being Across the Military Continuum,” our team member wrote this post to share what she learned about art therapy and how it’s being used for service members with psychological issues and traumatic brain injury.

Combat Stress vs. PTSD: How to Tell the Difference
Although combat stress and posttraumatic stress disorder share symptoms, they’re different. See how the two vary.

How I Overcame the Stigma of Mental Illness and Saved My Life
One of the most popular posts came toward the end of last year. What stands out most to us in this video is Navy Capt. Todd Kruder’s honesty. He struggled with severe depression and thoughts of suicide before seeking help because of the stigma of mental illness in the military.

5 Strategies for Finding Peace in the Turbulence of Caregiving
We’re glad we could introduce Rosemary Rawlins to blog readers last year. As a caregiver for her husband with TBI since 2002, Rosemary is able to help others cope with the challenges of caregiving by writing about her own experiences. These five strategies from Rosemary will help caregivers rest, relax and recharge.

The Shame of Embarrassment
Here’s another post from Rosemary Rawlins. Ever feel embarrassed by your loved one? According to Rosemary, it isn’t uncommon. Read her advice on coping with this particularly awkward and often shameful feeling that sometimes surfaces when caring for a loved one with TBI.

Signs of Suicide: How to Help
During Suicide Prevention Month, we wanted to highlight key suicide prevention information that everyone should know, such as the warning signs that someone may be in trouble, actions to take or not take if you suspect someone is suicidal, and confidential resources, like the Military Crisis Line (800-273-8255). Check out the post.