SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
January/February 2011, Volume 19, Number 1 

image of a logo for the White House

Presidential Initiative Supports Military Families

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden recently put forward nearly 50 commitments by Federal agencies responding to the President’s directive to establish a coordinated and comprehensive Federal approach to supporting military families.

The result of an effort to find better ways to provide our Nation’s military families with the support they deserve, the new campaign is called “Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment.” The result will be a unified Federal Government approach to help ensure:

image of the cover of SAMHSA News, January/February 2008, Volume 16, Number 1
  • The U.S. military recruits and retains America’s best, allowing it to maintain the high standards that are a hallmark of our armed forces.
  • Service members can have strong family lives while maintaining the highest state of readiness.
  • Family members can live fulfilling lives while supporting their service member(s).
  • The United States better understands and appreciates the experience, strength, and commitment to service of our military families.

Strategic Priorities

This report identifies four strategic priorities that address the primary challenges facing our military families.

  • Enhance the overall well-being and psychological health of the military family.
  • Ensure excellence in military children’s education and their development.
  • Develop career and educational opportunities for military spouses.
  • Increase child care availability and quality within the Armed Forces.

These four priorities were identified with special attention to the feedback that the First Lady, Dr. Biden, and Administration officials received from the many service members and their families they encountered over the past 2 years. The priorities address the concerns and challenges of the families of Active Duty and Reserve Component Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard members; veterans; and those who have fallen.

Awareness of the Challenges

This report elevates the need for more awareness of the challenges facing military families and in turn generates more effective use of Government resources. HHS is aggressively promoting awareness across its service provider networks, the media industry, and professional medical organizations on military culture and psychological health of our service members, their spouses, and their children.

This report demonstrates how innovation and sharing best practices can generate resources and reduce barriers.

It also serves as a springboard to highlight the military families’ contributions as a national and community resource and identifies opportunities to leverage more of the skills, experience, and capacity of military family members.

Additionally, this overall effort endeavors to strengthen existing feedback mechanisms for military families to voice their concerns and opinions, their unique challenges, the effectiveness of existing programs, and their input on the future direction of related Federal programs and policies.

Read the transcript of the presentation.

Resources for Military Families

SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Military Families ensures that SAMHSA supports America’s service men and women—Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, and Veteran—together with their families and communities by leading efforts to ensure that needed behavioral health services are accessible and that outcomes are positive.

Real Warriors, launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, promotes resilience, recovery, and reintegration of returning service members, veterans, and their families.

U.S. Army Social Media Handbook 2011 for soldiers, personnel, and their families serves as a guide for the safe and regulation-friendly use of a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—Press 1 for Veterans offers veterans in emotional crisis have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.

Previously in SAMHSA News

Several previous articles that support SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Military Families.

Find information on SAMHSA’s efforts to support military families.



  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Increasing Outreach, Feedback, and Virtual Communities

Increasing Outreach, Feedback, and Virtual Communities

SAMHSA has developed a “digital engagement” program with presences on major social media channels.


  From the Administrator  
Above All, SAMHSA Seeks To Improve Lives

Above All, SAMHSA Seeks To Improve Lives

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., talks about SAMHSA’s newly revised document on the Strategic Initiatives. Read more.


  In the News  
President’s Budget

President’s Budget

The FY 2012 Budget requests $3.6 billion for SAMHSA. View the chart.

Oil Spill Update: Call 1-800-985-5990

Oil Spill Update: Call 1-800-985-5990

To support those affected, SAMHSA and the Ad Council created a new awareness campaign.


  Military Families  
Presidential Initiative

Presidential Initiative

A new directive establishes a coordinated Federal approach to supporting military families. View Resources.


  Prevention  
Prevention Day 2011

Prevention Day 2011

Prevention Day included games and fun for local students. Photo Gallery.


  National Expenditures  
Behavioral Health Spending Down

Behavioral Health Spending Down

In 2005, $1.8 trillion was spent on all U.S. health care services; behavioral health spending accounted for 7.3 percent.


  Suicide Prevention  
Marvel Comics’ Superheroes Help

Marvel Comics’ Superheroes Help

“Captain America” is giving a little help to save young lives. Read more on SAMHSA’s blog.

Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors: Who’s at Risk?

Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors: Who’s at Risk?

An estimated 8.4 million adults age 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide last year.


  Treatment Admissions  
Dramatic Shifts State by State

Dramatic Shifts State by State

By region, treatment admissions show striking variations.

Trauma-Related Counseling

Trauma-Related Counseling

Mental health screenings can help identify clients who have experienced trauma.


  Recovery  
Months Away, But . . .

Months Away, But . . .

Things are happening on the Recovery Month website. View webcasts and more.


  Statistics & Data  
Jump in Number of Pharmaceutical-Related Emergencies

Jump in Number of Pharmaceutical-Related Emergencies

A 98.4-percent increase in ER visits is related to the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals.


  Visit the SAMHSA Store  

Free Publications at Your Fingertips

SAMHSA’s website includes the new SAMHSA Store for publications and other Agency products. Visit store.samhsa.gov.

SAMHSA Store Video Tour

View the story of the SAMHSA Store. Find out how keyword taxonomy helps your search.