May 2010 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury’s (DCoE’s) Real Warriors Campaign, which focuses on combating the stigma associated with seeking treatment for psychological health and traumatic brain injury concerns.
The Real Warriors Campaign Web site features articles and resources on a variety of psychological health issues, as well as video profiles of service members who reached out and received treatment, and went on to maintain successful military and civilian careers. By sharing their stories, these Real Warriors are proving to their fellow service members that they are not alone, that reaching out makes a difference and that individuals who have sought psychological health care can continue successful careers.
The Real Warriors Campaign makes reaching out easy. The Web site includes a live chat feature which any service member, veteran, family member or health care provider can utilize to connect confidentially with the DCoE Outreach Center for psychological health and traumatic brain injury information and resources. The DCoE Outreach Center can also be accessed tool-free 24/7 at 866-966-1020 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Service members, veterans, families and health professionals can also connect with each other through the campaign’s message boards.
The Real Warriors Campaign is proud to include Soldiers’ Angels as a partner in their efforts, and Soldiers' Angels is proud to encourage all Angels to spread the word about this important campaign.
Here's one of my favorite Real Warriors profiles (previously posted), that of Air Force Major Iwona Blackledge. As a nurse deployed numerous times in Africa and the Middle East, Maj. Blackledge saw many casualties and cared for wounded warriors and civilians alike. Her story sheds light on the important psychological health needs of warrior caregivers.