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Defense Health Agency Kicks Off Dog Days of Summer, Showcases Dogs Who Support Overall Health – Health.mil

Uniformed Services University Shares Vital Research on Military Health at Meetings on Ukraine
Uniformed Services University experts discuss brain health and mental health challenges for Ukrainian service members.
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This week, the Defense Health Agency is celebrating facility dogs assigned to military hospitals across the nation for its “Dog Days of Summer” campaign July 24-28.
DHA will spotlight stories of hard-working dogs dedicated to keeping service members, their families, and hospital staff healthy and happy.
Military hospital facility dogs fulfill many services daily. They provide comfort and a wet nose to patients and wounded warriors recovering from surgery and boost morale among hospital staff. Whether by land, sea, or air, these dogs are always at the ready.
Facility dogs work hard every day at their assigned military hospital, clinic or elsewhere to provide comfort to people they encounter while making their rounds.
Military working dogs keep their handlers and battle buddies safe from bombs and enemies on the frontlines and across the seven seas.
Service dogs help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, was the first military hospital to employ facility dogs. They’ve now been around nearly two decades.
MWDs have been used in action since the Civil War. The use of emotional support dogs for veterans has expanded greatly since the first Gulf War.
Explaining the many abilities of military dogs and their true gifts is WRNMMC facility dog program manager Amy O’Connor, who offered this quote: “God said I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend hours in a hospital bed with a resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart. So, God made dog.”
If you’d like to find out more about the value of military dogs, follow us in July as we highlight their amazing abilities.
Here’s a select sampling of the many resources about military dogs you can find across health.mil and social media:
In a major step forward in lowering barriers, the Air Force’s mental health waiver policy in both the Air Force’s Medical Standards Directory and Aerospace Medicine Waiver Guide has been updated.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tony Lawrence, 673rd Medical Support Squadron commander, describes his journey of grief, growth, and ultimately gratitude after the tragic loss of his child.
Mental Health professionals assigned to the 92nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron implemented changes that offer patients group therapy opportunities and walk-in provider assistance.
By virtue of his lived experience, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Erik Taylor, an Arkansas native and 352nd Special Operation Wing executive assistant, shares his story as a diagnosed member with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.
The Military Health System has many resources available to help service members, families, or veterans who are struggling with mental health challenges.
Department of the U.S. Air Force mental health leaders published a new “Mental Health Overview” that outlines comprehensive resources for airmen and Guardians seeking mental health support.
Department of the Air Force mental health leaders published a new “Mental Health Overview” that outlines comprehensive resources for Airmen and Guardians seeking mental health support.
Publication of the Defense Intrepid Network for TBI and Brain Health.
This research review provides an overview of the state of the science regarding comorbid traumatic brain injury and suicide, as well as suicide attempts, with a focus on military personnel.
Research has consistently shown the most effective approach in the treatment of trauma is actually talk therapy.
Questions and answers about anxiety
The Department of Defense is fielding the 2024 Health Related Behaviors Survey to nearly 250,000 randomly selected active duty service members. This year’s survey includes questions addressing mental and physical health, substance use, and other health topics related to service member readiness.
988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
When the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins to slow, a silent snowfall signals the start of another isolated winter night. This is sometimes known as seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder.
Last year, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness signed policy implementing within the Defense Department and across the military services the requirements laid out under the Brandon Act. 
The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of non-U.S. Government sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. Although the Defense Health Agency may or may not use these sites as additional distribution channels for Department of Defense information, it does not exercise editorial control over all of the information that you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this website.


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