Real Warriors

Real Warriors

The Real Warriors Campaign is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage help-seeking behavior among service members, veterans and military families coping with invisible wounds. Launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) in 2009, the campaign is an integral part of the Defense Department’s overall effort to encourage warriors and families to seek appropriate care and support for psychological health concerns.

To reach the broadest audience possible, the campaign features a variety of strategies including outreach and partnerships, print materials, media outreach, an interactive website, mobile website and social media. The campaign features stories of real service members who reached out for psychological support or care with successful outcomes, including learning coping skills, maintaining their security clearance and continuing to succeed in their military or civilian careers. These Real Warriors are proving through example that reaching out is a sign of strength that benefits the entire military community.

In addition, the campaign encourages use of the DCoE Outreach Center, a 24/7 call center staffed by health resource consultants to provide confidential answers, tools, tips and resources about psychological health and traumatic brain injury.




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To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)

It’s been nine years since Jamie posted the original TWLOHA story online, and we’re still here. We’re still working to let people know that hope is real and that they can get the help they deserve. Your story is important.

This began in the spring of 2006, when To Write Love on Her Arms founder Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story about a friend struggling with depression, addiction, and self- injury. The words and the life it represented shed light on the reality of contrast—pain and peace, addiction and sobriety, regret and freedom. The title, “To Write Love on Her Arms,” also represented a goal—to believe that a better life was possible. A MySpace page was created to give the story a home, and T-shirts were sold to pay for the friend’s treatment.

As the days passed and the blog was shared, it became clear that this story was not just about one person. We heard from people longing to lift the heavy weight of depression, to be free from addiction or self-injury, to stay alive and live fully. We also heard from people mourning those they’d lost to such struggles, asking what they could do to bring hope to their communities. We learned that two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help, and that untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old. It seemed we had stumbled into a bigger story, a conversation that needed to be had. These are issues of humanity, problems of pain that affect millions of people around the world, regardless of age, race, gender, religious belief, orientation, and background.

Over the years, TWLOHA has become much more than a blog and a T-shirt. Through musician support, tours, and social media, the message of hope and help has reached an audience broader than we could have ever anticipated. We’ve expanded from a computer screen to conferences, campuses, programs, and events around the country and the world, where we challenge the stigma and stereotypes that have surrounded mental health issues for so long. And we’re investing into treatment and recovery, offering financial support to organizations, centers, and individuals laboring in the priceless work of healing.

TWLOHA is honored to be a part of this continuing story, to invite people into the conversation, and to be a bridge to the better life we continue to believe is possible.




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National Center for PTSD

National Center for PTSD The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders.

The VA National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder’s mission is:

To advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s veterans through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders.

The Center was created within the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, in response to a Congressional mandate to address the needs of veterans with military-related PTSD. “Advancing science and promoting understanding of traumatic stress” is the Center’s goal.

In 1995, the National Center created a website. Since September 11th, website usage has grown considerably, and in fiscal year 2006 the site had over 1 million unique users! The website strives to provide current, valid, professional information on a range of topics related to trauma and stress. The site is separated into sections each for one of a variety of audiences, including veterans and their families, clinicians, health care providers, researchers, and others who have or know someone who has experienced a trauma.

The website currently contains more than 1,600 documents, several newsletters you can subscribe to, extensive Web Resource links, and much more:

  • 140 fact sheets
  • 800 downloadable articles
  • Videos for veterans and their families, and for clinicians
  • PTSD 101: a series of expert lectures on PTSD
  • The PILOTS database (the largest interdisciplinary index to the worldwide literature on traumatic stress)
  • The Iraq War Clinician Guide
  • Information for disaster recovery including the Psychological First Aid manual



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There & Back

There & Back

There & Back Again is a non-profit reintegration program offered at no cost to veterans of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Because of their combat service abroad, many veterans return home with a myriad of complex emotional issues, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). TABA offers a structured program of yoga, meditation and alternative approaches to healing the whole body to help veterans transition back to their lives stateside.

Our objective is teach veterans how to use breath awareness, meditation and yoga to manage their symptoms of PTSD, to improve their relationships with loved ones, to begin to fully participate in their lives, and to give back to their fellow veterans through TABA’s Train the Trainer program. TABA is comprised of respected professionals who are dedicated to the healing of our military men and women, and our program is based on both the latest research on the benefits of alternative therapies and staff and advisory board members’ personal successes managing symptoms of PTSD.

A multifaceted approach to wellness, including yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, meditation and other alternative therapies help empower veterans to manage their own challenges of reintegration.

There & Back Again incorporates a whole body approach to wellness.  Recognizing the three parts of our “self” – our mind/thoughts, our physical body and our emotional/spiritual self.  A combat experience is an extreme experience that can disconnect us from one or all of aspects of our “self.”  There & Back Again provides Veterans an opportunity to reconnect and reintegrate all parts of their “self.”

Many Veterans have found that these tools, along with traditional therapies, help them manage their challenges better allowing them to fully participate in their lives.




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Our Sponsor


CopeCareDeal

CopeCareDeal

CopeCareDeal:  A mental health site for teens administered with the help of Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  It includes resources, glossary, helps with depression, bipolar, anxiety and so much more.  If you are a teen, this a place to check out!




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National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)

1 nambi

What started as a small group families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

NAMI relies on gifts and contributions to support our important work.




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Minds on the Edge

Minds on the Edge

The one-hour television program zeros in on wrenching and confounding situations that are playing out every day in homes and hospital ERs, on city streets and school campuses, in courtrooms and in jails, as Americans struggle with the challenges of severe mental illness.

Produced for PBS by the Fred Friendly Seminars using their signature format of a hypothetical scenario, the program considers the case of a college student who develops mental illness while at school. Her professor knows something is wrong, but is unsure how to approach her and whether it is even legal to contact her parents. Upset and confused when they see their daughter, her parents do not know where to turn and are shocked to discover how limited their options are when they try to seek medical help.

The program also explores the circumstances of an adult who has coped with his mental illness until his mother dies, and then he is left without critical support. As his mental health unravels, and he is unable to get treatment or maintain his home, he is arrested for a minor crime and absorbed into the criminal justice system. For him it is the beginning of a merry-go-round of homelessness and jail that has become all too common for many individuals who are living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other severe mental illnesses.




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No Kidding? Me Too!

No Kidding?  Me Too!

Throughout human history, actors have made their living as entertainers – on stage, the big screen, small screen, even the computer screen. During our journeys, we sometimes encounter roles where the characters exhibit mental issues. Just a quick thought to the most memorable moments in movies and on television over the last century will provide you with many depictions of individuals exhibiting mental illness — almost all encountering seemingly insurmountable barriers.

As artists, what we learn as we become more knowledgeable about mental illness — its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment — is these barriers are not insurmountable and by stigmatizing those with mental illness, we are doing a grave injustice to them, ourselves and all of society.

Our goal is to educate the public about the wonderful possibilities that exist when we break down the societal barriers which hold us all back because we treat those afflicted with mental illness differently — we label them and isolate them. What we passionately want to accomplish is to relieve the weight of millions of people who suffer this isolation.




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