If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are almost a thousand blogs worth? I suppose that depends on the blog,...but consider the idea that a blog is intended to inform its target audience with timely information that is conversational, directly useful, and regularly updated. Then ask yourself the worth of a blog for behavioral health providers that provided weekly research updates, statistics, and national expert opinions on issues related to the psychological well-being of Service members, Veterans and their families. Hopefully you’d agree that it would be invaluable, especially if it was free!
Five years ago this month, CDP set out to provide a free, weekly blog series primarily for behavioral health providers working, or hoping to work, with Service members, Veterans and their families. This month we will publishing our 975th blog and I took the opportunity to look back at the series to see what we have accomplished.
When we started the blog, we wanted it to be an opportunity for our experts to share their experiences with working with this valuable population. We wanted the blog to be informative and evidence-based, but also casual and conversational, scholarly, but without the stuffiness. We started with providing the “Research Update,” a weekly synopsis of the latest news, journal articles, and useful links from around the web and followed that with “By the Numbers,” a snapshot of a statistic relevant to military and Veterans, both curated by Shirl Kennedy, our most prolific blogger and in-house librarian, archivist, and social media maven.
In April 2012, we rolled out the first of our “Staff Voices,” a weekly blog instalment by our own subject matter experts. The first blog was by Kelly Chrestman and discussed how to develop an in vivo hierarchy for prolonged exposure. Over the years there have been blogs on military culture, military families, deployment, sleep related issues and suicide to name a few. Our experts have shared heart-felt personal stories and experiences.
In the last year we have added the Guest Perspective series and have been honored by the nationally recognized experts who have been willing to share their thoughts and experiences with us and our blog audience as well. We’ve had amazing blogs by Douglas Snyder, Jerri Haaven, Marjan Holloway, James C. West, Arthur Nezu, Phil Gerhman, Amy Amidon and Pat Deleon and the list goes on, each one an amazing and powerful story worth reading.
I’ll admit I am a bit of a blog-geek for the CDP blogs. I read them all every week and am fascinated, irritated, frustrated, and enthralled by the numbers and what they reveal about our military and Service members. I am sometimes moved to tears by the stories that faculty and guests share about themselves and their experiences working with people who really do deserve the highest quality behavioral healthcare that we can provide.
We hope you enjoy the blogs and find them useful in your practice. We look forward to your comments and suggestions and hope to see you reading for the next five years.
The opinions in CDP Staff Perspective blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science or the Department of Defense.
William Brim, Psy.D. is the deputy director of the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP). He joined the CDP in 2007, initially as a deployment behavioral health psychologist at Malcolm Grow (USAF) Medical Center and has served as deputy director since 2008.