Texas Veterans Commission, Veteran Mental Health Program
Military Informed Care: Working with the Military Culture
At the conclusion of this module, learners will be able to:
- Identify factors that shape opinions about the military and military service
- Analyze potential prejudices and biases that you may hold related to military culture, Service Members, and/or Veterans
- Evaluate the possible impact of military culture and SMVF’s sense of self, others and worldview
- Describe how military culture may contribute to stigma, help seeking, and health behaviors
Understand best practices in working with Service Members, Veterans, or their Families (SMVF) in mental health settings
This course is offered to all health care professionals and public health providers, with mental health professionals as the primary audience. This course is intended to benefit any health care professional who provides care for Service Members, Veterans and their Families, regardless of setting; particularly, psychologists, social workers and counselors.
Increasing numbers of health care professionals with no prior military service history or experience working with military Service Members, Veterans, or their Families (SMVF) are being called upon to deliver patient care to these rapidly growing populations. For current and former military Service Members, the explicit organizational structures and implicit ideals and values comprising military culture play a significant and lifelong role in injury, illness, and recovery. In all fields of health care, but most especially in mental health evaluation and treatment, empathic therapeutic alliances and effective treatment plans require health care professionals to possess and utilize knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding military and Veteran cultures and subcultures. To meet this training need, the Texas Veterans Commission’s Veterans Mental Health program has developed this Military Informed Care curriculum for mental health care providers. This training will encourage military cultural competency in providers through in the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to work with the military and Veteran culture.
Providers will be given an overview of the indoctrination process of military culture, impacts on the family dynamic, information about various groups of veterans, specific information about the population in Texas, the impacts of military-related traumas, and information about best practices for working with said population. Special attention will be given to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Trauma, and Moral Injury. The training also contains some information about the Veterans Affairs and tips and suggestions on working with SMVF. There is a local panel SMVF discussing resources, needs, and overall concerns in their area of the state, and provide an overview of some resources providers can access.