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Real Warriors FAQs

Following are frequently asked questions and answers about the Real Warriors program.


What is the Real Warriors Campaign?


Established in 2009, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Real Warriors Campaign (RWC) is a public health campaign designed to decrease stigma, increase psychological health literacy, and open doors to access to care by encouraging psychological health help seeking among active duty service members, veterans, and their families. The DOD expanded the RWC in 2023, through collaboration between Psychological Health Center of Excellence and Defense Suicide Prevention Office, to augment suicide prevention initiatives.

The RWC’s mission is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, amplify suicide prevention efforts, and support military community psychological health and readiness. The campaign prioritizes early help seeking in the military community, encourages access to mental health care, destigmatizes mental health, and increases knowledge and understanding of mental health information.

RWC materials address a variety of mental health concerns. Mental health concerns may range from difficulties with the stress of military life or problems with relationships which may resolve with brief or supportive counseling, to symptoms of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, alcohol misuse, or posttraumatic stress disorder that are more likely to resolve with appropriate professional treatment.

The RWC provides service members, veterans, and their families with mental health knowledge and free resources, to include online articles, print materials, videos, podcasts, and links to military information and services. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength. Remember, mental health IS health.


What does it mean to be a Real Warrior?


Real Warriors prioritize psychological fitness as much as physical fitness. Real Warriors know that the stressors of military life can impact one’s mental health.. Real Warriors know reaching out for help is a sign of strength.


Where can I get help if I’m experiencing a mental health crisis?


If you or somebody you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support and crisis resources for anyone in distress to include you or your loved ones.


What does “Defend Your Mental Health” mean?


Defending your mental health means making your mental health a priority. It means reducing stressors you can control, and increasing the use of supports, including mental health services. Mental health care is health care. No matter what you are facing, you don’t have to go at it alone. It’s ok to ask for help.


How can I get involved with the Real Warriors Campaign


Here are several ways to get involved:

  1. Link to the campaign on your website or blog.
  2. Download free materials to distribute at events or display at your facility.
  3. Use video profiles in trainings, briefings and presentations to service members, veterans, and families.
  4. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Share and retweet campaign posts on your social media channels. 
  6. Embed or run a video profile, video short or PSA on your website, closed circuit television or TV station.
  7. Include a print feature article or website article in your newspaper or publication.
  8. Become a campaign advocate and help reduce stigma and spread the message that reaching out is a sign of strength.


What topics does the Real Warriors Campaign cover?


The Real Warriors Campaign website includes articles on health topics like sleep, stress and anxiety, suicide prevention, and transitions written for active-duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserve, veterans, and military families. The articles provide a range of practical tips and resources for supporting early intervention for treatment of psychological health concerns in all stages of military life including separations and reintegration.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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