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September Toolkit

The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to preventing suicide among Service members and their families. Suicide prevention is a DoD priority throughout the year, but during September — Suicide Prevention Month — the Department brings added attention to this complex issue. This year, the DoD’s Suicide Prevention Month theme, Connectedness, highlights the important role that connections to family, friends, the community, and resources can play in preventing suicide. As part of the conversation this month, the Military Health System will also look at ways to be proactive and mindful in tackling pain challenges, including the need for opioid safety.

To enable others to share information within the DoD community, our Monthly Communications Toolkit provides the MHS enterprise with customizable, ready-to-use material to promote these topics and other issues important to the health and wellness of the DoD community. 

Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month

In support of the DoD’s theme of “Connectedness,” MHS will highlight how strength and resilience are possible through support networks and the use of DoD and Department of Veterans Affairs resources.

Public awareness campaigns like the Real Warriors Campaign (https://www.realwarriors.net/) and Make the Connection (https://maketheconnection.net/) encourage service members to ask for help and recognize seeking help is a sign of strength.  Watch this video from the Co-Founder of Team Rubicon explaining why it is important for them to help veterans explore their options for mental health care (https://teamrubiconusa.org/)

 

Suicide Prevention Month PSA 2020

Image discussing the difference between Acute versus Chronic pain

Pain Awareness Month

September is also Pain Awareness Month, during which the MHS will highlight the need to work with a healthcare provider to help identify what’s most effective in treating your pain and providing relief. Patients and providers can learn about pain treatments, opioid safety, and other useful resources here: https://go.usa.gov/xf5ks

No one can avoid experiencing pain at some point in their life. It's a universal experience. Depending upon how severe the pain is, how long the pain lasts, and how the pain is managed, it can have a significant impact on an individual, their family, and friends. Watch this video to learn more about how to work with a doctor to safely and effectively manage pain.

Pain Management Paradigm

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Healthcare Burdens Attributable to Various Mental Disorders, U.S. Armed Forces 2016

Infographic
5/25/2017
Did you know…? In 2016, mood disorders and substance abuse accounted for 25.9% of all hospital days. Together, four mental disorders – mood, substance abuse disorders, adjustment, and anxiety – and two maternal conditions – pregnancy complications and delivery – accounted for 53.6% of all hospital bed days. And 12.4% of all hospital bed days were attributable to injuries and poisonings. Here are the mental disorders that affected U.S. Armed Forces in 2016: Pie Chart titled Bed days for mental disorders in 2016: •	Mood Disorder (46,920 bed days) – the orange pie slice. •	Substance Abuse Disorders (44,746 bed days) – the blue pie slice. •	Adjustment Disorder (30,017 bed days) – the purple pie slice. •	Anxiety Disorder (20,458 bed days) – the gray pie slice. •	Psychotic Disorder (6,532 bed days) – the light blue pie slice. •	All other mental disorders (3,233 bed days) – the violet pie slice. •	Personality disorder (2,393 bed days) – the forest green pie slice. •	Somatoform (552 bed days) – the lime green pie slice. •	Tobacco dependence (2 bed days) – the white pie slice. Bar graph shows percentage and cumulative percentage distribution, burden “conditions” that accounted for the most hospital bed days, active component, U.S. Armed Forces 2016.  % of total bed days (bars) for mood disorder, substance abuse disorders, adjustment disorder, pregnancy complications; delivery; anxiety disorder; head/neck injuries, all other digestive diseases, other complications NOS; other back problems, all other signs and symptoms; leg injuries, all other maternal conditions; all other neurologic conditions; all other musculoskeletal diseases; all other skin diseases;  back and abdomen; appendicitis; all other infectious and parasitic diseases; all other cardiovascular diseases; all other mental disorders; all other respiratory diseases; arm/shoulder injuries; poisoning, drugs; foot/ankle injuries; other gastroenteritis and colitis; personality disorder; lower respiratory infections; all other genitourinary diseases; all other malignant neoplasms; cerebrovascular disease.  See more details on this bar graph in the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) April 2017 Vol. 24 No. 4 report, page 4. This annual summary for 2016 was based on the use of ICD-10 codes exclusively. Read more on this analysis at Health.mil/MSMR. #LetsTalkAboutIt Background of graphic is a soldier sitting on the floor in a dark room.

This infographic documents the mental disorders that affected U.S. Armed Forces in 2016.

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Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Mental Health Care

Signs of Mental Health Distress

Infographic
3/3/2017
Signs of Mental Health Distress

This graphic shows signs of mental health distress.

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Interagency Task Force on Military and Veterans Mental Health

Report
11/17/2016

This report provides an update on interdepartmental actions during 2015 and 2016 to fulfill the ITF recommendations, and outline continuing efforts to further improve mental health treatment and programs for Veterans, Service members, and their families.

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Mental Health Care | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives

Defense Suicide Prevention Office

Presentation
11/1/2016

Defense Suicide Prevention Office briefing for the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

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Navy Capt. Dale White and his brother

Photo
9/27/2016
Dean (left) and Dale White

Dean (left) and Dale White

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Warning Signs of Suicide

Photo
9/22/2016
Five signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might be at risk for suicide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chris Botzum)

Five signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might be at risk for suicide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Chris Botzum)

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September Toolkit

Shattered Mirror

Photo
9/21/2016
Army Private 1st Class Luselys Lugardo, a soldier assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard, poses in front of a shattered mirror for a portrait. The shattered glass represents the way suicide hurts families, friends and coworkers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht)

Army Private 1st Class Luselys Lugardo, a soldier assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard, poses in front of a shattered mirror for a portrait. The shattered glass represents the way suicide hurts families, friends and coworkers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht)

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Then-Army Maj. Ed Pulido with his wife

Photo
9/19/2016
Then-Army Maj. Ed Pulido, stands with his wife, Karen, and daughters, Kaitlin and Kinsley in June 2010. Pulido retired from the Army and is 12 years into his recovery and credits his family for encouraging and supporting him during that time.

Then-Army Maj. Ed Pulido, stands with his wife, Karen, and daughters, Kaitlin and Kinsley in June 2010. Pulido retired from the Army and is 12 years into his recovery and credits his family for encouraging and supporting him during that time.

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Be There: Help Save a Life

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9/14/2016
Screenshot of Be There video

Whether you have a minute or an hour, a simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. The U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense have created a video to show how small actions can have a huge impact on Veterans and Service members who might be going through a difficult time.

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Depression 101

Infographic
5/2/2016
Infographic about Depression symptoms and treatment

Infographic explaining the different types of depression, their symptoms and treatment options

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DoD Instruction 6490.10: Continuity of Behavioral Health Care for Transferring and Transitioning Service Members

Policy

In accordance with the authority in Reference (a), this Instruction establishes policy for the Military Departments, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes guidelines for establishment of Military Department policy and procedures to ensure continuity of behavioral health (BH) care at the losing and gaining installations when Service members transition from one health care provider (HCP) to another when transferring to a new duty station or transitioning out of the Service.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.10
  • Date: 10/28/2015
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

Joe Nose Stress

Video
9/23/2015
thumbnail image of the Joes Knows Stress video

"Currently, Cmdr. Joe is the only stress-sniffing dog in the Department of Defense, but studies conducted by the University of Denver in Colorado have found that regardless of the type of skill they possess, the presence of therapy dogs reduce overall narcotic and painkiller usage among veterans."

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Not all Wounds are Visible

Infographic
9/21/2015
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Poster in support of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

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Suicide Prevention 2015

Video
9/17/2015
thumbnail image of the Suicide Prevention video

The Department of Defense takes suicide very seriously. Each Service is actively working to reduce the number of suicides. Watch this video to find out how you can help.

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Recognize Common Symptoms of Those at Risk

Infographic
9/15/2015
Infographic showing symptoms of those at risk of suicide.

In support of Suicide Prevention Month, this graphic lists some symptoms of those who may be contemplating suicide.

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