Military service members face a number of highly stressful situations, including deployment, combat exposure, and reintegration. Therefore, it is not surprising that we see high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other difficulties (for example, alcohol use, physical health problems, and suicide), among those in the military. In addition, military service can be stressful for the friends and families of service members.
The Real Warriors Campaign
Fortunately, there are resources available for military service members and their families. The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury recently launched an initiative called the Real Warriors Campaign. This campaign is designed to promote resilience, recovery, and support for returning service members, veterans, and their families.
The Real Warriors Campaign website provides information for active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve personnel, veterans, families, and health professionals. For example, for active duty service members, there is information on how to prepare for and cope with the stress of deployment, as well as the signs and symptoms of combat-related stress.
There is also information for veterans on how to recognize that you may need help, treatment options, and resources within the community or through military health care. The website also has a large section for families that discusses ways one can better adjust to changes during pre-deployment, deployment, post-deployment, and reunion. There is also information on providing and seeking out support, as well as how one can assist children in coping with deployments and reunions.
One of the most unique aspects of the website is the Multimedia page. Many military service members face stigma associated with having PTSD or some other mental or physical health difficulty that can prevent them from seeking out treatment. To combat this stigma, the Real Warriors Campaign website provides short video clips of military service members who share their stories and how they successfully sought out treatment.
The Real Warriors Campaign website is an excellent resource for military service members and their families. It is very easy to navigate and provides a tremendous amount of helpful information. If you are a returning service member, veteran, or a friend or family member of someone in the military, you should check it out today.