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Psychological Health Center of Excellence

Psychological Health Center of Excellence

The Psychological Health Center of Excellence is one of the Centers of Excellence within the Research and Engineering Directorate of the Defense Health Agency. PHCoE collaborates across the Department of Defense and with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide leadership and expertise to inform policy and drive improvements in psychological health outcomes.

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If you have an emergency or are in crisis, please contact the Military Crisis LineLinks to the Military Crisis Line or the Suicide & Crisis LifelineSuicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.

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PHCoE Mission

Improve the lives of our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families by advancing excellence in military psychological health care research.

PHCoE Vision

Be the trusted source and partner to facilitate evidence-based research and clinical practices across the continuum of care to enhance the psychological health of the military community.

PHCoE Purpose

  • Enhance the readiness of the military community by providing psychological health research consultation and expertise to leaders, providers, service members, and their families
  • Serve as the primary Defense Health Agency hub supporting, guiding, and managing empirical research to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of psychological health care and prevention of psychological health disorders in the military community
  • Provide research to support the increase of access, reduction of barriers, and optimal use of psychological health resources across the Military Health System
  • Create and manage empirically-based information and products to support optimal psychological health and readiness across the enterprise

History of PHCoE

First established in 1995 as the Gulf War Health Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, its mission was to care for Gulf War veterans with war-related physical and mental health challenges. In 1999 it became the Deployment Health Clinical Center – one of three DOD centers of excellence for deployment health. (The others being the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and the Naval Health Research Center.) The center was responsible for coordinating the evaluation of veterans seeking care for post-deployment health concerns.

In 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act provided a congressional mandate for the creation of centers of excellence for posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury within the DOD. As a result, DHCC became a center under the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The NDAA charged the center with implementing plans and strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of PTSD and other mental health conditions. 

In 2016, DCoE and its centers, including DHCC, transitioned to DHA and in 2017 DHA completed the consolidation of DCoE and its centers and retired the DCoE brand. DHCC officially changed its name to the Psychological Health Center of Excellence to better align with its current mission.

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Last Updated: June 03, 2024
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