Real Warriors: Combating the stigma of seeking treatment for brain injuries 

1/1/2010 

The Real Warriors Campaign is a public education initiative designed to combat the stigma associated with seeking treatment for psychological health and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) concerns.

Officials with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, who launched the campaign, said it is particularly important to reach soldiers who are isolated from their loved ones – either geographically or emotionally.

As part of that effort, there are two new Army profiles, Maj. Jeffrey Hall, who is currently based at Fort Polk, La. and Staff Sgt. Megan Krause, a reservist, who have stepped forward to prove to their fellow service members that reaching out makes a difference – and warriors can receive treatment while maintaining a successful military career.

For more information about their stories, look at their PSAs:

Hall: http://realwarriors.net/multimedia/psas/hall59.php

and Krause: http://realwarriors.net/multimedia/psas/krause59.php

AUSA NEWS interviewed Hall in its July 2009 issue.

The initiative’s goal is to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families.

To reach the broadest audience possible, the campaign features a variety of strategies including outreach and partnerships, print materials, media outreach, an interactive Web site and social media. The campaign features stories of real service members who have sought treatment and are continuing to maintain successful military or civilian careers.

In addition, DCoE established 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. The Outreach Center can be reached through the live chat function on www.realwarriors.net, toll-free at 866-966-1020 or via e-mail at resources@dcoeoutreach.org.

The center is for warriors and their families needing help with psychological health and TBI issues, promoting the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors and their families.

It partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs and a national network of military and civilian agencies, community leaders, advocacy groups, clinical experts and academic institutions to establish best practices and quality standards for the treatment of PH and TBI. The work is carried out across these major areas: clinical care; education and training; prevention; research and patient, family and community outreach.