Military Personnel

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on the emotional and substance use effects that may come from serving in the military, or having a family member in the military. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Steps people in the military can take to protect their behavioral health during and after deployment
  • Ways that military families can deal with the stresses of deployment
  • Support that school personnel can provide for students with a deployed parent
  • Guidance for behavioral health professionals treating military personnel

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Suicide Bereavement Support Group Directory - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has compiled a national directory of survivor support groups for families and friends of a person who has committed suicide. The directory is listed by state. Visit this web page to find the support group nearest you.

Army OneSource - Army One Source
The Army OneSource website provides articles and information for Army families on various topics including Army customs, home and personal safety, managing deployment, and understanding military pay.

Army Suicide Prevention Program - U.S. Army
This webpage provides resources and information for members of the United States Army on the topic of suicide and suicide prevention.

Becoming a couple again: How to create a shared sense of purpose after deployment - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)
This tip sheet contains information for a couple reuniting after a member returns home from deployment. The authors list common relationship concerns and provide suggestions for "building a shared sense of purpose and stronger family."

Behavioral health issues among Afghanistan and Iraq U.S. war veterans - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (HHS, SAMHSA)
This article discusses behavioral health problems that affect veterans who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom [HHS Publication No. SMA12-4670]. Possible issues described in the article include substance use disorder, including alcohol use disorder; posttraumatic stress disorder; and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Bereavement and grief: Information for military families and communities - Mental Health America
This webpage lists emotions that may be experienced by a military service member or a family member of a military service member who has experienced the death of a loved one. It includes tips for effective coping following such a loss and also includes tips for helping others with their grief.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (USUHS, CSTS)
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress is dedicated to advancing trauma-informed knowledge, leadership, and methodologies. The Center's work addresses a wide scope of trauma exposure from the consequences of combat, operations other than war, terrorism, natural and human-caused disasters, and public health threats.

Citizen Soldier Support Program - Citizen Soldier Support Program (CSSP)
The Citizen Soldier Support Program was designed to strengthen support for National Guard and reserve members and their families by increasing deployment and post-deployment access to behavioral health services.

Combat operational stress - U.S. Marine Corps, Community Services Camp Pendleton
This web page provides an overview and definition of combat and operational stress as it relates to Marine Corps members. It reviews the risk factors for combat and operational stress, resiliency factors, and prevention tips, as well as suggested resources specifically for marines.

Coping when a family member has been called to war - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (VA, PTSD)
This fact sheet describes the impact on families when a loved one is deployed to war. It discusses the emotional cycle of deployment, family difficulties, changes in family systems, special concerns, and suggestions for coping.

Coping with behavior problems after head injury - Family Caregiver Alliance®
This fact sheet identifies behavioral problems, personality changes, and memory problems that can be experienced by head injury survivors. It also includes tips for learning to cope when a loved one is suffering from issues related to traumatic brain injury.

Death of family and friends - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
This website section provides information on what to do after experiencing the death of a loved one. It includes symptoms of grief, next steps, and resources. It also includes actual stories from service members who share their losses.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center - Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center is to serve active-duty military, their dependents, and veterans with traumatic brain injury through state-of-the-art medical care, innovative clinical research initiatives, and educational programs.

Depression in primary care: A military health care perspective - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (USUHS, CSTS)
This fact sheet describes the effect of depression on members of the military and their families. It also covers how the primary care setting can be used to help with early identification and intervention.

Educator resource guide - Military Kids Connect
This webpage is a resource for military families with children, educators working with children whose parent(s) have been deployed, and for military kids themselves. It contains links to resources on classroom and counseling activities, trauma and grief, student support, wellness for kids and families, and family support, as well as videos and fun websites for military youth.

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Last Updated: 10/27/2015