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New Rant to Military One Source: Dude, Your People Love Our Stuff! (Why Not Make It Easier?)

15 Nov

Hello again,

I can’t tell you how many times we’re asked by people who work with the military, “How come your stuff isn’t available through Military One Source??”.  

We get asked this by active troops and their families; by social workers and chaplains on bases; by docs at military hospitals; by mental health and health professionals who work with the various Transitioning Warrior and Wounded Warrior programs; and by staff at crisis call centers set up for returning warfighters.  

And the irony is that while some heavy hitter DoD people - at DICoE and NICoE, at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital - ask this question, too, it appears that the hold-up is somewhere in the bowels of the very same DoD that hosts these institutions - lost in some bureaucratic hell perhaps?  

It makes us crazy.

I have to say, we’ve been working hard to cut through the red tape. Every week our superstar guy out in the field, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.r, reaches out and gently, charmingly and persistently prods, goads, entices, reminds, gooses and pitches the various powers that be. They say they’re working on it.  Meantime, we know this stuff helps with the most wretched symptoms of PTSD - we know this from Jennifer Strauss’ randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, and we know this from providers in every branch of the service.

Jerry tells them, “Dude, you already like our stuff and use it a lot!!”   He reminds them that our imagery is in scores of bases and hospitals; that the Army sends it to our  troops in Afghanistan and Iraq - even Korea and Germany; that it’s already in over 80 V.A.’s; and that it’s ordered by the boatload for National Guard and Wounded Warrior programs all over the country.  

Very frustrating.

Come to think of it, even before Jerry was on the scene, we were trying to tell Military One Source and Tri-Care about how much use our audio programs are already getting.  [Sidebar:  This is not to mention how civilian insurance companies and HMO’s have long seen the merit and cost saving benefits of imagery - Kaiser alone has been giving out our imagery to members since 1992 and now offers free downloads to members on their Healthy Living to Go web page!]  

The bottom line, of course, is that it makes us even crazier, given the amount of distress, posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, despair and suicide our service people and their families are contending with. With the evidence-based results we have to show, you’d think they’d maybe bust a move and make it easier for people to access these el cheapo, super-functional resources???  Many do find us anyway, through word of mouth, through informed providers like you guys out there, and even through chat rooms and online bulletin boards.  But clearly having this available through Military One Source would be the easiest way for people in need to access this resource.

This is especially critical for those who live far from competent professional help.  At the very least, we can say that calming, mood-regulating, uplifting guided imagery on digital audio is something and that’s a whole lot better than nothing.  Plus it’s accessible, portable, user-friendly, self-administered, inexpensive and - most important - effective at reducing symptoms - sometimes to a jaw-dropping extent

And in the lucky instances where professional help is available, the audios provide an added boost to healing, some extra support, in the form of a concrete takeaway to be used as mental health homework. 

So what am I missing here?  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

In our fit of righteous pique, we’re taking this straight to you, our generous, good-hearted, wise professional supporters and informed end-users.  If you’ve got any clout; if you know a decision maker in the military; if you’re a professional who sees a lot of returning war fighters and families, and can speak with authority about this, would you please, please shoot an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text64967+'<\/a>'; //--> , and ask her to try and move this process along?  If you’ve got stories - personal or professional - tell them to her.  If you’ve got data, let her know.

You just may be the critical mass necessary to make this happen.  Please become the ballast it takes to tilt this teetering, wobbly see-saw of non-decision-making at the Pentagon over in the right direction.   

Don’t do it for us - we’re doing fine.  This is for them, the people who’ve put themselves at great risk on so many levels - physical, emotional, financial, familial - and who have sacrificed too much already.  We’ve got something they can use, and we need to get it to them in as many ways as possible.

For this, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award