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Behavioral Health: Military and Veteran's Issues

Internet Resources for Human Services Professionals Working with Military and Veterans Issues

Prepared by: James (Jim) A. Martin, Ph.D., BCD
Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) & Associate Professor
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
1 September 2008

Note: The Author (JAM) reminds anyone making use of these sites (or any related web information from any of these sites) that it is always necessary to evaluate the website you are using to access information. Two useful guides for evaluating information from the Internet are:
From Duke University:

From UC Berkeley -- much more detailed and extensive:

An invitation: Individuals are encouraged to contribute new information for this list. Please contact me at with your suggestions. Suggestions and other comments are also welcome in the on-line forum below.



Army Behavioral Health Website: The U.S. Army, with oversight by TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), has created an interactive Web site that allows service members and their families to explore behavioral health information. The site launched Aug. 5, 2008 at

Department of Veterans Affairs:

Health Care for Veterans:
PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs: Note: The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and is dedicated to advance the clinical care and social welfare of U.S. Veterans through research, education and training on PTSD and stress-related disorders. It is a primary source of information for clinicians, human service providers, as well as service members, veterans, and their loved ones. To access this site go to

The National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) website contains an extensive list of organizations and programs that support military members, veterans, and their loved ones. 

For news of new developments at the National Center for PTSD visit their website for recent updates. 

The National Center for PTSD has several newsletters that can be accessed from this site:

A useful overview article on PTSD is available at:

PTSD Research Quarterly Newsletter (RQ) - The most recent Research Quarterlies can be found at:
Useful Mental Health Resources

Screening for Mental Health Inc. (SMH) is the non-profit organization that first introduced the concept of large-scale mental health screenings with its flagship program National Depression Screening Day in 1991. SMH programs now include both in-person and online programs for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and suicide prevention. These programs have been used by hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, older adult facilities, primary care clinicians, colleges, secondary schools, corporations and HMO's, reaching individuals ranging from teens to older adults. SMH's programs have reduced the stigma that inhibits many individuals with mental illness from seeking treatment. The programs are also helpful to those who are worried about a friend or family member. Teaching people how to identify mental illness and specific ways to access treatment for themselves or a loved one is the cornerstone of SMH's programs. Screening for Mental Health – useful self-assessment on-line tools are available at:

TBI Resources:

The single best starting point for TBI information is the DoD Post Deployment Health web site. Go to:

As noted on this site: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Concussions, also called “closed head injuries”, are a type of TBI. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild”, i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe”, i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, movement, language, and/or emotions. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the injury and other symptoms may not appear for days or weeks. Because of the nature of the injury and the symptoms, sometimes people may not recognize or admit that they have a problem. In post-concussion/mild TBI patients, recovery time is within weeks/months, but a small percentage have persistent symptoms. Patients with moderate to severe TBI may never fully recover their pre-injury function. The rate of combat-related brain injuries in service members returning from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan appears to be higher than in previous conflicts. Nearly 30% of all patients with combat-related injuries seen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2005 sustained a TBI. Blast injuries are a significant cause of TBIs. TBI is often associated with severe multiple trauma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or undiagnosed concussions. Screening patients who are at risk for a TBI is important in order to ensure that TBIs are identified and appropriately treated. DOD TBI Information and Resource go to: The Federal TBI Program:
The archived web cast "Unidentified TBI: The Importance of Finding Those Who "Get Lost" and Those "Not Found" is now available. The Federal TBI Program aired the web cast, "Unidentified TBI: The Importance of Finding Those Who "Get Lost" and Those "Not Found"," on May 22, 2008. Dr. Wayne Gordon from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose research into the societal cost of TBI was the basis for an article in The Wall Street Journal, is the speaker. The web cast focuses on the link between a previous brain injury and problems later in life. Viewing this web cast provides an excellent opportunity to collect information to describe the importance of identifying TBI and to illustrate the long-term cost to society. State agencies, Protection and Advocacy Systems, and Statewide TBI Advisory Boards/Councils can use this information to capture the attention of State agencies to assist with raising brain injury awareness and securing funding. The web cast and PowerPoint slides can be accessed at:

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs:

Dot Mil Docs is another good resource for audio and video mental health information. Go to:

Military Health System Information:

America’s Military Health System (MHS) is a unique partnership of medical educators, medical researchers, and healthcare providers and their support personnel worldwide. This DoD site is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs; the medical departments of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff highlights healthcare resources for military members and their families. The site is a source of innovative information on education, medical training, research, technology, and policy information. For access go to

The Deployment Health and Family Readiness Library:

The Deployment Health and Family Readiness Library provides Service members, families, leaders, Health Care providers, and veterans an easy way to find deployment health and family readiness information. Within this library you'll find access to fact sheets, guides, and other products on a wide variety of topics published by the services and organizations that serve you. You'll also find additional web links to other organizations and resources devoted to the health and well-being of the Service member and their family. For access go to

Note: Especially useful are the training and resource materials on this site for working with military members and/or Family Members who may have health and mental health questions. For access to the training page go to
For access to the resource page go to

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress:

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress conducts research, education, consultation and training on preparing for and responding to the psychological effects and health consequences of traumatic events. The Center’s work spans studies of genetic vulnerability to stress, individual and community responses to terrorism, and policy recommendations to help our nation and its military and civilian populations. Its team is multi-disciplinary and Center activities include the development of military health fact sheets to improve the well-being of deployed soldiers and their families, writing books and articles that advance the science, treatment and management of trauma and consulting. To access go to

PTSD - Here is the NICE Quick Guide on PTSD

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organization responsible for providing national guidance in on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health in the United Kingdom. Go to:

MedLinePlus – a service of the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is your trusted source of health and mental health information. To access this site go to

Note: MedlinePlus has a specific collection of information on military and veterans issues. To access this site go to

NC Health Info

NC Health Info is a resource of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Library System (with support from the Center for Citizen Soldier Support). This site contains information on services for military children, as well as an array of health and mental health topics for military members, veterans, and their loved ones.

Healthfinder is an award-winning Federal Web site for consumers, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services together with other Federal agencies. is recognized as a key resource for finding the best government and nonprofit health and human services information on the Internet. links to carefully selected information and Web sites from over 1,500 health-related organizations. To access this site go to Note: Make sure you check out the list of organizations and information clearinghouses listed on this site.


BattleMind is a useful approach and philosophy – a strengths based approach to deployment menthe health rather than pathology focused approached. There are BattleMind materials for spouses as well. The Army developed is a website containing audiovisual training aids and other materials to allow units to conduct their own mental health training. The site provides training for leaders, health care providers, individual Soldiers and family members. The website features a module that addresses the stigma associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); the testimonial of a suicide survivor; and scenario-based animations for younger members of the family. Go to:

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury leads a collaborative effort toward optimizing psychological health and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment for the Department of Defense (DoD). The DCoE establishes quality standards for: clinical care; education and training; prevention; patient, family and community outreach; and program excellence. DCoE Mission is to maximize opportunities for warriors and families to thrive through a collaborative global network promoting resilience, recovery, and reintegration for PH and TBI. Go to:

Mental Health for Families (from the NMFA)

A useful guide with an array of informational links for all family members. Go to:

This NMFA site also has a link to mental health resources. Go to:
Other Organizations that provide information, guidance and/or counseling for military families


Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 320 affiliates nationwide, they represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation – everyday and in times of crisis. For specific information for military families go to:

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country. NAMI provides an extensive array of information and resources for veterans and active duty military members, as well as their families, friends, and advocates. Go to:

Social Work and Social Services Web Sites

This is a comprehensive list of online resources of interest to social workers and those in the social services fields. The site is a service of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. The site is a jumping-off point to other interesting, pertinent sites, many with search engines. To access this site go to

Information to Support Best Practice

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)

NREPP is a searchable online registry of mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers. The purpose of this registry is to assist the public in identifying approaches to preventing and treating mental and/or substance use disorders that have been scientifically tested and that can be readily disseminated to the field. NREPP is one way that SAMHSA is working to improve access to information on tested interventions and thereby reduce the lag time between the creation of scientific knowledge and its practical application in the field. NREPP publishes a report called an intervention summary on this Web site for every intervention it reviews. Each intervention summary includes: Descriptive information about the intervention and its targeted outcomes, Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination ratings, A list of studies and materials submitted for review, Contact information for the intervention developer. All NREPP intervention summaries can be accessed through the Find Intervention page. To access this site go to Note: To learn more about evidenced-based practice go to the Smith College School for Social Work Research Pages developed by Professor James W. Drisko. To access this site go to

The Coming Home Project is a non-profit organization devoted to providing compassionate care, support and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. It is made up of a group of veterans, psychotherapists and interfaith leaders committed to helping transform the wounds of war. They help veterans and family members rebuild the connectivity of mind, heart, body and spirit that combat trauma can unravel; renew their relationships with loved ones; and create new support networks. Their goal is to build a safe space – a community -- for veterans and their families to come together and share their stories, struggles and accomplishments. Single veterans are also most welcome. The Coming Home Project offers a range of free services: workshops and retreats; psychological counseling; training for care providers; and community forums. Their programs address the mental, emotional, spiritual and relationship challenges faced by veterans and families before, during and after deployment. The videos listed on this site provide some powerful stories. Go to:

When Wounded Vets Come Home
By Barry Yeoman, July & August 2008
As more troops than ever are surviving the fearsome injuries of war, parents are increasingly being thrust into the role of long-term caregivers. This AARP articles discusses this issue and highlights numerous resources for veterans and their caregiving families.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) vision and mission is focused on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders. SAMHSA is gearing all of its resources -- programs, policies and grants -- toward that outcome. SAMHSA has a comprehensive resource list for returning vets and families. Go to:

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) web site:

SAPRO serves as the single point of accountability for Department of Defense (DoD) sexual assault policy. The Department of Defense does not tolerate sexual assault and has implemented a comprehensive policy that reinforces a culture of prevention, response and accountability that ensures the safety, dignity and well-being of all members of the Armed Forces. This web site provides guidance and other information for victims of sexual assault, unit commanders, first responders, and those who wish to prevent or respond to this crime. Sections address confidentiality, reporting procedures, and other elements of DoD's sexual assault policy as well as training information, safety tips, resources and links to related web sites.



Serendip Visitor's picture

PTSD Guide

I was hoping to share more about our project and efforts to increase public awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Led by the White House, this non-partisan national initiative known as Joining Forces, calls on nurses and communities to educate themselves on the needs of PTSD patients and to dedicate themselves to providing the highest quality care to these patients. In the spirit of this initiative, we have created a resource to help not only nurses, but anyone -- family members, friends, co-workers -- better understand and recognize PTSD; steps that are critical to ensuring patients receive appropriate care and support.

The resource can be found here: While it focuses primarily on PTSD as it affects servicemembers, much of the information is still important and relevant to non-servicemembers struggling with PTSD.

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