Review of Leppma et al (2016) article on assessment of professional competencies working with veterans and military families.
What does it take to work with Veterans and military families?
Leppma et al. (2016) conducted a study to examine professional competencies deemed most relevant for mental health providers working with Veterans and their families. The study makes an important contribution to military psychology by taking the initial steps to define critical professional competencies utilizing evidence-based practices.
The fraction of military members moved by the Department of Defense every year, according to a recent RAND Corporation report -- Tour Lengths, Permanent Changes of Station, and Alternatives for Savings and Improved Stability. The report looked at how much money could be saved if DoD reduced the number of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves by extending tours of duty. Because a variety of alternatives were considered, the estimated annual savings range was broad -- $19 million to $84 million.
As military spouse with three children and a clinical psychologist who works at a military hospital, military family issues are ever-present in my mind and on my heart. So, when I read about the Military Family Stability Act of 2015, my interest was naturally piqued. The Military Family Stability Act of 2015 was introduced to Congress by Senators Blunt (Mo.), Gillibrand (NY), Hirono (HI), and Burr (NC) as a bill “…to provide a period for the relocation of spouses and dependents of certain members of the Armed Forces undergoing a permanent change of station in order to ease and facilitate the relocation of military families.” By adding greater flexibility in key aspects of permanent change of station (PCS) moves, changes introduced by the bill would ideally mitigate some of the negative effects of relocation on military families. While the fate of this bill remains unknown, the content provides excellent material for some important conversations about military family life.
It was the summer of 2007 and I was in the homestretch of planning a wedding to my best friend, an active duty psychologist for the U.S. Navy stationed at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed Military Medical Center). We had chosen November 10th for our wedding date. I loved the idea of a fall wedding and my husband, also a former Marine, assured me that he would never forget our anniversary if we got married on the Marine Corps birthday.