New Mobile Apps Help Troubled Warriors Cope

By Jimenez, Joseph | Warrior - Citizen, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

New Mobile Apps Help Troubled Warriors Cope


Jimenez, Joseph, Warrior - Citizen


JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Warriors don't like to admit problems with stress, anxiety, depression or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If they did, many don't know whom to trust with their problem, or just try to bury it.

Now, two new, smart mobile applications can help individuals cope with those challenges of military life. Recently released from the Defense Department's National Center for Telehealth and Technology on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, LifeArmor and Prolonged Exposure Coach are two very different mobile apps with a common purpose: help the warrior.

LifeArmor has 17 behavioral topics about military life many people find difficult to talk about.

"We hope an anonymous source of credible information will help many people facing difficult situations in their military careers," said Dr. Robert Ciulla, T2 clinical psychologist. "We wanted to get this information to each member of our military community and use the popularity of the smartphone to reach them."

Ciulla led the development of Afterdeployment.org in 2008. The Web site was developed to help service members returning from combat deployments. Ciulla said the success of the Web site led to the development of the app that fits better in the lifestyle of a mobile military population.

LifeArmor's behavioral topics are: alcohol and drugs, anger, anxiety, depression, Families and friendships, Families with kids, life stress, mild traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, physical injury, post-traumatic stress, resilience, sleep, spirituality, stigma, tobacco and work adjustment.

Each topic has four sections with information, assessments, videos with personal stories and interactive exercises to develop coping skills. Ciulla said the assessments are useful, but are not intended to be the sole basis for conclusions about a user's mental health status and should not replace professional counseling.

While LifeArmor is an app for individual learning and management of symptoms, the PE Coach mobile app was developed to be used by a patient who is being treated for PTSD by a clinician or therapist. …

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