Recently, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) collaborated with Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to produce a handbook for military families. Created as a companion to the PBS series “This Emotional Life,” A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members explores the stressors and feelings individuals may encounter throughout the different phases of deployment. The handbook aims to provide solutions for servicemembers and identifies outside tools and resources that may be useful to friends and family members before, during and after deployment.
The handbook covers a variety of topics to help servicemembers and their families develop skills to become more resilient throughout the deployment process. Divided into three distinct sections: pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. Each segment explores topics related to relationships, self-care, communication and staying informed. Sample topics include:
- What to expect during a deployment
- Tools to keep your family and community strong throughout a deployment
- Skills to strengthen or repair relationships
- Tools to create open lines of communication with your spouse/partner/child
Each section of the book is divided into easy-to-read segments and includes information, checklists, reflection exercises, suggestions for family activities and sample conversation topics. The handbook also includes a comprehensive list of resources for members of the military, National Guard and Reserve, veterans and family members. By reading the handbook, DCoE hopes that families and friends will gain a better understanding of the full spectrum of emotions commonly experienced during a deployment.
Copies of the handbook can be ordered on the Real Warriors Campaign website at www.realwarriors.net/materials/order. The handbooks and shipping are free of charge. For more information about the Real Warriors Campaign, visit http://www.realwarriors.net/.
For more information about psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues as well as personal stories and reflections from people within the military community on these topics, check out the DCoE Blog.