As a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist for the Center for Deployment Psychology and a faculty member in a pre-doctoral Air Force Psychology Internship Program, I have ample opportunity to teach about warning signs and risk factors for suicide. I also have had plenty of patients and oversight of interns’ patients with substance use disorders, in particular alcohol use disorders. So, it is of particular interest to me to understand more fully the relationship between alcohol use (and other substance use) and suicide attempts.
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Perspective"
One of the things that I have noticed over the years is that most people (including many clinicians and Service members) are confused about the clinical definition of “trauma.” These days, the word “trauma” has become a buzzword in our culture to describe negative life experiences that continue to have an impact on one’s life after the fact.
Depledge & Bird (2009) described the “blue gym” as an approach to promote well-being through being active in water environments such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, or walking along the beach. Being active can be stimulated by being near natural water. Stronger communities, stress reduction, and increased physical activity are three benefits from regular contact with natural environments. The blue gym helps us to connect to each other and the value of nature and our aquatic environments. There are some recent reports looking at the positive impact of surfing on PTSD symptoms for Veterans.
While most of our CDP blogs focus on some aspect of military behavioral health to include understanding, evaluating and treating various psychological wounds of war and reintegration challenges, we don’t often consider and discuss the spiritual conflicts that arise for many of our military-connected clients. These spiritual wounds and needs can have a significant impact and often caring for those needs goes beyond the skillset of a behavioral health provider. A referral or concurrent care addressing both behavioral and spiritual health needs might be the best course of action.
My husband, an active duty Service member in the Navy, passed his 20-year mark earlier this year, which has led to multiple discussions in our household about potential next steps. So perhaps not surprisingly, when recently reading the 2016 Blue Star Families’ annual report, I was drawn to the content on the transition from military to civilian life. The Blue Star Families’ (BSF) annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey examines the experiences and challenges encountered by military connected families.