197056 Real Warriors—Treatment Makes a Real Difference

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:30 AM

Jill Herzog , Strategic Communication, Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA
For a civilian, it's hard to fathom the stress Service members face when they are deployed during a time of war. Long, multiple wartime deployments can take a severe toll on Service members and their families.

Of the 1.64 million Service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as of October 2007 an estimated 31% have a psychological health condition or reported experiencing TBI

–18.5% currently have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression

–19.5% report experiencing TBI during deployment

Service members operate within a heightened culture of stigma associated with seeking and receiving mental health treatment. Seeking treatment is perceived as a military career derailer and Service members anticipate they will be perceived as weak or untrustworthy by their peers and leaders.

In early 2009, the Defense Centers of Excellence launched “Real Warriors,” an educational campaign to potentially impact more than 50 million Service members, Reservists/Guard, veterans, their families, by helping normalize processes, build resilience, facilitate recovery and support reintegration.

Connecting with Service members on these issues poses challenges for outreach, as Service members are extremely reluctant to discuss mental health issues. As such, the campaign must strike a balance between direct and anonymous communication to encourage dialogue. Participants will learn how the campaign weaves proven methods of outreach with the latest in Web 2.0 technologies to engage the military's diverse stakeholders. Thus, enabling Service members to reach out in way's most comfortable.

Participants will meet Real Warrior's military leadership, Service members being helped, and the manager overseeing the campaign.

Learning Objectives:
1) Demonstrate best practices for communicating positive aspects of seeking treatment for psychological health issues (PH) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to active duty Service members, Reservists/Guard, veterans, their families and professionals who serve them 2) Discuss various, successful creative concepts that resonate with active duty Service members, Reservists/Guard, veterans, their families, thus allowing them to feel comfortable to seek treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jill Herzog is an award-winning communications professional with more than 18 years of experience directing multi-year marketing and health communication projects for government and corporate clients. Ms. Herzog developed several national public education campaigns reaching millions of Americans and providing access to resources and information about many of the nation’s leading social and health issues including substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion and disease prevention. She has directed numerous high profile campaigns and projects for clients including the U.S. Public Health Service, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dod Tricare and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service’s Administration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.