Presidential Initiative Supports Military Families
President Barack Obama, First
Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill
Biden recently put forward nearly 50
commitments by Federal agencies
responding to the President’s directive
to establish a coordinated and
comprehensive Federal approach to
supporting military families.
The result of an effort to find
better ways to provide our Nation’s
military families with the support they
deserve, the new campaign is called “Strengthening Our Military Families:
Meeting America’s Commitment.”
The result will be a unified Federal
Government approach to help ensure:
- The U.S. military recruits and retains
America’s best, allowing it to maintain
the high standards that are a hallmark
of our armed forces.
- Service members can have strong family lives while maintaining the highest state of readiness.
- Family members can live fulfilling lives
while supporting their service member(s).
- The United States better understands and appreciates the experience, strength, and commitment to service of our military families.
This report identifies four strategic
priorities that address the primary
challenges facing our military families.
- Enhance the overall well-being and psychological health of the military family.
- Ensure excellence in military children’s
education and their development.
- Develop career and educational
opportunities for military spouses.
- Increase child care availability and quality within the Armed Forces.
These four priorities were identified
with special attention to the feedback
that the First Lady, Dr. Biden, and
Administration officials received from the
many service members and their families
they encountered over the past 2 years.
The priorities address the concerns and challenges of the families of Active Duty
and Reserve Component Army, Navy, Air
Force, Marines, and Coast Guard members;
veterans; and those who have fallen.
This report elevates the need for
more awareness of the challenges facing
military families and in turn generates
more effective use of Government
resources. HHS is aggressively promoting
awareness across its service provider
networks, the media industry, and
professional medical organizations on
military culture and psychological health
of our service members, their spouses, and
This report demonstrates how
innovation and sharing best practices can
generate resources and reduce barriers.
It also serves as a springboard
to highlight the military families’
contributions as a national and community
resource and identifies opportunities to
leverage more of the skills, experience, and
capacity of military family members.
Additionally, this overall effort
endeavors to strengthen existing feedback
mechanisms for military families to voice
their concerns and opinions, their unique
challenges, the effectiveness of existing
programs, and their input on the future
direction of related Federal programs
Read the transcript of the presentation.
SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Military Families ensures that SAMHSA supports America’s service men and women—Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, and Veteran—together with their families and communities by leading efforts to ensure that needed behavioral health services are accessible and that outcomes are positive.
Real Warriors, launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, promotes resilience, recovery, and reintegration of returning service members, veterans, and their families.
U.S. Army Social Media Handbook 2011 for soldiers, personnel, and their families serves as a guide for the safe and regulation-friendly use of a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—Press 1 for Veterans offers veterans in emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.
Several previous articles that support SAMHSA’s
Strategic Initiative on Military Families.
- “For Behavioral Health Providers: A Military Immersion Training,” September/October 2010, describes Operation Immersion, an effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders in military populations.
- “Paving the Road Home: Returning Veterans
and Behavioral Health,” September/October 2008, provides special coverage of SAMHSA’s Second National Behavioral Health Conference on Returning Veterans and Their Families.
- “Military Policy Academy Promotes
Plans for Behavioral Health,” July/August 2010, describes efforts to create interagency strategic plans that ensure needed behavioral health services are accessible to the Nation’s service men and women and their families.
- “National Guard Focuses on Mental Health, Substance Abuse,” July/August 2008, describes efforts by new SAMHSA and National Guard programs to help citizen soldiers with mental health and substance use problems.
- “Veterans and Their Families: A SAMHSA Priority,”
January/February 2008, is the award-winning article featuring the personal stories of two Iraq and Afghanistan veterans battling substance abuse and working in their communities to help other veterans.
Find information on SAMHSA’s efforts to support military