Military Mental Illness Education
First and foremost, thanks to all veterans and active-duty personnel for your military service. We are honored you and/or your family members are here and proud to serve you!
The NAMI Homefront program is an adaptation of the NAMI Family-to-Family program. This military mental illness education is designed specifically for active duty and veteran service member families (a.k.a. military families) to have a community. We understand that your loved one’s behavioral health is your priority.
We work with the Veterans Administration and the Rock Island Arsenal to cooperatively offer this 6-session program. There is no cost to family members and caregivers of an adult loved one living with PTSD, traumatic brain injury or other mental health problems.
NAMI Homefront is available as an online course to ensure social distancing. Please see the event calendar for more information on upcoming courses. This course is also available online each quarter. All of our programs are judgment-free, confidential, and safe zones.
1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences a mental illness and 1 in 25 U.S. adults experiences a serious mental illness. But, nearly 1 in 4 active-duty members showed signs of a mental health condition according to a 2014 study in JAMA Psychiatry.
Common mental illnesses:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dual Diagnosis
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Most Common Mental Health Concerns for
Veterans and Active-Duty Military Members
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | The risk of PTSD is 15 times higher for military members than that of a civilian. It can be caused by military combat, assault, natural disasters, and sexual assault. These traumas have physiological and psychological responses that can have long-lasting negative effects. To name a few, trouble sleeping, anger management issues, nightmares, jumpiness, and alcohol/drug abuse. If these types of troubles are present and lasting, it could be PTSD.
Depression | Again the risk of depression in military personnel is five times higher than that of civilians. It is not a sign of weakness or merely sadness that you can just get past. It lasts for a minimum of two weeks and interferes with daily life and normal functioning. Changes in thought processes can include negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. Depression can also affect sleep, energy, appetite, and weight.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | When enduring significant blows to the head or body, a traumatic brain injury can result. The brain is hitting the skull bone (shell shock). Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue/drowsiness, memory problems and mood swings.
NAMI Homefront was originally developed with the help of the United States Army. It is led by trained military/veteran family members of loved ones living with mental health conditions.
Some of the topics covered are:
- Mental health diagnoses (such as PTSD and TBI from the above list)
- Treatment options
- Crisis management
- Communication skills
- The impact of combat stress and moral injury
- The stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment while serving
- Services available to both active-duty personnel and veterans
- Manage crises, solve problems, and communicate effectively
- Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
- Develop the confidence and stamina to support your family member with compassion
- Identify and access federal, state, and local services
- Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental health, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse
- Understand current treatments, including proven education therapies with mental health professionals, medications, and side effects
- Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family
NOTE: Should you or your active duty loved one need to disclose any mental health concerns while serving, the Department of Defense (DOD) follows the privacy guidelines set down by HIPAA and the Privacy Act. For veterans and their families, contact the Veterans Crisis Line for help at the number below.
NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley
We are the local Quad Cities affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a grassroots organization dedicated to educating everyone – from young people to mature adults – that mental health conditions are treatable and recovery is possible. Early detection, treatment and recovery aren’t just for cancer patients. They are for us, too.