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Military Health System

Psychological Fitness

Psychological Fitness is the ability to integrate and improve cognitive, emotional, and behavioral practices. Staying mission-ready means having a healthy, high functioning mind, which connects to every domain of Total Force Fitness.

Mental health and mental toughness are not binary-options with an “on/off switch” – they exist on a spectrum, and you can train the mind and learn skills to improve. Psychological health takes practice and training. Just like any other part of your body, the more you exercise it, the stronger and more resilient it gets.

Emotions are part of psychological fitness. We all have them for a reason and suppressing them is not the answer. Find constructive ways to express feelings and cope with difficult emotions that otherwise could affect mission readiness.

Factors that May Affect Your Mental Health Wellness
Anger

Anger is a feeling that can range from mild irritation to intense annoyance to rage. It may be a natural response when possible harm is anticipated or when another person has done something wrong or harmful. 

Anxiety

Individuals living with anxiety live in a world of "what if?" It's often a world of hypervigilance and worst case scenarios. 

Depression

Depression affects your body, actions, thoughts, and mood. Left untreated, depression can last for days, months, or years. Depression is more serious than just feeling sad. Depression affects all areas of life and ranges from mild mood swings to severe negative feelings that disrupt daily life.

Sexual Trauma

Sexual trauma is any sexual activity where someone is involved against his or her will -- may have been pressured into sexual activities, may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities.

Sleep

Good sleep is vital to good health. Sleep helps people cope with stress, solve problems, and recover from illness or injury. Lack of sleep can lead to drowsiness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory and physical problems. 

Spirituality

Different factors can challenge individuals' long held beliefs. In the face of difficulty, many, often for the first time, will give serious consideration to spiritual concerns. Still others find their life experiences strengthen their belief system, whether it has a spiritual component or not.

Stress

Stress comes in two varieties: Good stress and bad stress. Life stress involves all mental burdens that affect an individual.

Work Work environments and requirements vary significantly. Praiseworthy skills in one occupation may be germane or likely counterproductive in another.

Signs of Distress

Some signs of distress could include:

  • Drinking more heavily than normal
  • Agitation or anger
  • Withdrawing from families and friends
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sadness or depression

Many of these tips may seem like common sense, but when faced with challenging life situations these things are often the first things that get neglected.

When psychological health is neglected and mental health concerns arise, it is natural to deny there's anything wrong. Sometimes the last person to recognize symptoms is the one who needs help, so it's important to recognize symptoms in friends, loved ones or oneself and to say something.

You also may be interested in...

Suicide Prevention Draws Awareness at Madigan

Article Around MHS
9/27/2022
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris speaking at Madigan Army Medical Center

The numbers shock and offend the senses – roughly one active duty service member ends their life each day; add in Reserve and National Guard components and the number rises to an average of 1.5 per day. Madigan Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health hosted a National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month event on September 22, to raise awareness among the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., community and honor those who have passed.

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988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Expands Opportunities to Help

Article Around MHS
9/9/2022
Infographic for Military Crisis Lifeline

The nationwide kickoff of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, operated 24/7, provides a new tool that expands the opportunities for professional counseling.

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Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention Toolkit | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health is Health Care

#BeThere_Marine Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell

PSA video with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell bringing attention to suicide prevention and promoting the DSTRESS Line and Community Counseling Centers.

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#BeThere - September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Article Around MHS
9/7/2022
#BeThere infographic for Suicide Awareness Month

Suicide rates among military members continue to increase year after year.

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Suicide Awareness Month Reminder: Seek Help for PTSD

Article
9/2/2022
Graphic of warfighters on patrol with the caption Not All Wounds are Visible .PTSD Awareness

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a real mental health issue. Be aware and seek help.

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Seek Mental Health with TRICARE

Video
8/18/2022
Seek Mental Health with TRICARE

Mental health problems can affect your thoughts, mood and behavior. Watch TRICARE's latest video on how to take care of your mental health.

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Breathe2Relax App

Fact Sheet
8/12/2022

Initially designed for the military community but beneficial for use by anyone, the relaxation app trains you on the “belly breathing” technique that has proven benefits for your overall mental health. Use the app’s breathing exercises to learn and practice the breathing technique on your own or as part of a stress management program supervised by your health care provider.

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Solution Delivery Division | Psychological Fitness

Virtual Hope Box App

Fact Sheet
8/12/2022

The Virtual Hope Box is a smartphone application designed for patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. The VHB contains simple tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction and positive thinking.

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July MHS Minute

Video
8/9/2022
July MHS Minute

The July MHS Minute highlights a dedicated webpage for women's health to educate women and their partners on the health care services and resources available to them. Visit https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Womens-Health to learn more. Additionally, learn more about the new national suicide and crisis lifeline, 988.

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USU Facility Dogs Help De-stress USU Med Students

Article
8/4/2022
A dog interacts with students

Shetland and Grover roam the USU med school's halls to calm and comfort students.

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Yoga Shield: Building Mental and Physical Resiliency

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Military personnel doing yoga

More than 30 Airmen assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 178th Wing and the Iowa National Guard’s 132nd Wing began a week-long, 60-hour yoga training program July 18 at the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio.

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Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

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AFIMSC Chaplain Shares His "True North" Calling

Article
7/26/2022
An Air Force Airman inspects a target used during a shooting competition at Davis-Monthan Air Base, Arizona, in 2021. The True North program is a resilience program that embeds providers and spiritual leaders within squadrons and groups. Davis-Monthan implemented True North in October 2020. (Photo: Air Force Airman 1st Cl. William Turnbull)

Finding your True North – your authentic self, your purpose, your beliefs – can be a struggle for many today.

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Talking to Your Family and Friends About Your Depression

Publication
7/18/2022

Talking with your friends and family about your depression symptoms is not easy. Use this worksheet to help plan the discussion. 1. Decide who to talk to. List the family and friends that you will tell. Bold or underline the person you will tell first.

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Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Infographic
7/18/2022
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers 24/7, confidential support.

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Last Updated: September 02, 2022
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