The Department of Defense has began to consider the emotional and psychological health of their Servicemembers more since the days of September 11th, 2001. Because of the War on Terror, the military has been increasingly stretched thin, and it has caused more stress and anxiety across the board in the Military, as well as on families and Individuals. Servicemember families are looking for services to help with the stress and tension. The DoD has been working closely with the National Mental Health Association. The military is working to be an informed support for Servicemembers that need help.
Everyone experiences stress in different ways. The Defense Department is working with leading mental health professionals to try and come up with a list of different warning signs, and then working to try and educate commanders, leaders and others in military and medical health care circles to be watchful for some of the stress and anxiety warning signs. They have come up with a list of different symptoms, while not all-inclusive it is a good beginning of a list of triggers, or dangerous possible stress symptoms. These are, in no particular order: Anxiety about life, service duty, or other life events, apathy or sense of hopelessness, fear, depression, excessive and continual sadness, uncontrolled anxiety about the future, chronic stomach problems, excessive alcohol or drug usage, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, a sense of powerlessness, or crying without any apparent reason, as well as other issues. Results of these efforts from the Department of Defense on behalf of Servicemembers have been to work to form a network of services. In a time of war and heightened military preparedness, the Servicemembers on active duty, the Reserve and Guard elements that have been activated, and their families have a great deal of things to adjust to. What has been created has been a family and Servicemember assistance network for counseling and associated services. Most military Service commands, as well as Family Assistance centers on larger military bases are aware of the new mental health support network, and know how to refer military Servicemembers or their families to it.
Previously the frequency of deployments has been high, and that this is leading of separation between families for up to 15 months at a time. The President recently announced that new deployments overseas were going to be reduced to 12 months at a time, but this still causes a lot of family stress and strain.