- Introduction: A Top-Level Look at the Future of Federal Medicine
- Military Health System in Time of Transition as Conflicts End
- Army Medicine: Redefining Its Role in the Generation of a Ready and Resilient Force
- Air Force Medicine: Averting an Identity Crisis
- Moving Forward with Reforming the Indian Health Service
- The Clinical Pharmacy Specialist's Growing Provider Role in VA
- Public Health Service Pharmacy: Accelerating Transformation
- Military Pain Management’s Future: Less Invasive, More Data-Driven Techniques
- Navy Medicine: Strong, Agile and Ready
- Telemental Health in VA: A New Source of Support for Veterans
Mental, Emotional Well-Being
Another essential element of the health of our community is mental and emotional well-being. Perhaps more so than any other sector of our nation’s population, the defense community must remain focused on resilience and must not back down from our ongoing commitment to maintain the psychological health of our force and their loved ones. Mental and emotional well-being is essential to overall health. Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
In addition, reducing the stigma associated with mental-health services is important to improve access to and utilization of effective mental-health treatment. Just as a culture of good psychological health is essential to readiness and maintaining a healthy fighting force, so is a culture of acceptance for those who choose to seek help. We simply cannot afford to let a single member of our community slip through the cracks.
To reduce the stigma of seeking help, whether real or perceived, the DoD is partnering with our line leaders to identify and assist anyone who might need help. While our healthcare providers have the expertise in treating psychological injuries and distress, we can do nothing if the people who need help never make it to us. Therefore, we must work together to better integrate our medical providers and experts with our community. Working together, we must create an environment of acceptance.
The future good health of the defense community lies in the education and empowerment of individuals, communities and leaders. Many population-health concerns can be mitigated and often avoided altogether. Efforts to educate and motivate people to make healthy choices should occur across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on ensuring that young people are provided with the knowledge, skill and opportunity they need to allow them to become healthy adults. When people have access to actionable and easy-to-understand information and resources, they are empowered to make healthier choices.
Healthy living is a cooperative commitment that must be undertaken by each of us. Doctors, commanders, servicemembers, spouses, colleagues — all are responsible for managing our health and encouraging each other.
Our military has never failed to confront any challenge. The good news is, we know how to win the fight against unhealthy living. Working together, we will succeed and become a model for the nation.