Afterdeployment is an online program that helps service members, veterans and their families identify, understand and get support for behavioral health problems common to military life. The website provides self-care solutions targeting post-traumatic stress, depression, anger, sleep, relationship concerns, and other mental health challenges.
Military life presents many challenges to service members and their families including transitions, duty changes, irregular sleep schedules and more. Approximately 20% of OIF/OEF Service Members report adjustment problems in the months following a deployment. Limited provider availability and the stigma of being labeled with a “mental illness” are some of the barriers service members and veterans mention regarding seeking face-to-face care. In this light, the need for online behavioral health tools has never been greater.
The website was developed in response to the 2006 and 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aimed at improving and augmenting military and civilian health care systems. The website went live to the public in August 2008 and has undergone continuing updating and revising to improve relevance and currency of content. A redesign in 2009 featured easier navigation tools such as a search function and site map, blogs by experts, and psychoeducational videos. Ongoing modernization efforts include redesigning the website to improve navigation and usablity from mobile devices.
About the National Center for Telehealth & Technology:
The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) emerged from the military leadership’s desire to leverage the latest technologies to help Service Members suffering with Psychological Health (PH) concerns and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Physically located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, Washington, T2 is responsible for managing telehealth and technology programs within the Defense Centers of Excellence. T2’s core mission is to foster comprehensive programs that develop, evaluate, research, standardize, and deploy new and existing technologies for psychological health and traumatic brain injury throughout the Defense Department (DoD). T2 meets this mission by serving as the principal DoD coordinator in such areas as innovative technology applications, suicide surveillance, online behavioral health tools, and telehealth.
About the Defense Centers of Excellence:
Under the leadership of Army Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton, special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, DCoE was created in November 2007. DCoE is the open front door of the Department of Defense for warriors and their families needing help with PH and TBI issues, promoting the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors and their families.
DCoE partners with the Department of Defense, 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. Our work is carried out across these major areas: clinical care; education and training; prevention; research and patient, family and community outreach.