November 1, 2019

The MGCA Facebook page now has a new user url – You should automatically be redirected; however, if not simply Like the page.

The MGCA website has finally been converted and updated to reflect the correct name for the division! For those who have articles published in the Journal of Military and Government Counseling, this means you curricula vite is incorrect. I will be redesigning the page for the journal so it will be easier to find our articles using Google Scholar and similar search engines. I now have a team to help with the webpage – so, expect an improved website.

MGCA webmaster

October 21, 2019

MGCA Members,

Please enjoy the articles and announcements provided for this week!
When a Service Member May be at Risk for Suicide
Read the article at:
Rural First Responder Access to Mental Health Care: A National Crisis
Read the article at:
Registration is Now Open for the DHA Clinical Communities Speaker Series Home Study Activities
Registration is now open for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), J-7, Continuing Education Program Office (CEPO), Clinical Communities Speaker Series (CCSS) Home Study Activities in the new Continuing Education Management System (CMS).

Home study activities are web-based, pre-recorded courses offering Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit. The CCSS home study activities are virtual so you can earn CE/CME credit from anywhere! The topics covered offer CE/CME accredited content to all health care providers and support the full range of military operations in order to sustain the health of all those entrusted to DHA’s medical care.

Home Studies & Overview of Topics
April 2019 DHA CCSS
The April CCSS, “The Management of Children and Pediatric Health Issues,” home study activity will be available until December 10, 2019. There are up to 5.5 CE/CMEs available if all courses within this series are completed. To register visit the following link:

• “Environmental Stressors and the Military-Connected Child”
• “Child Protection within the Department of Defense”
• “A Comprehensive Review of the Current Topics in Pediatric Medicine” – Panel Presentation
• “Youth and Bullying: How Health Care Providers Can Support Our Military Children”
• “A Review of Select Behavioral Health Programs for the Pediatric Population in the Military Health System”
June 2019 DHA CCSS
The June CCSS, “Contemporary and Promising Practices in Palliative Care, Cancer and Chronic Pain Management,” home study will be available until February 27, 2020. There are up to 7.0 CE/CMEs available if all courses within the series are completed. To register visit the following link:

• “Promising Practices in Pain Management Using Complementary Alternative Medicine from South Korea”
• “A Comprehensive Analysis of Spinal Pain in Service Members”
• “A Framework to Improve Musculoskeletal Readiness”
• “Ethical Dilemmas in the Management of Palliative Patients with Chronic Pain”
• “Palliative Care for Veterans with Cancer”
• “Healing the Mind”
• “The Opioid Epidemic and the DoD Response”

August 2019 DHA CCSS
The August CCSS, “Innovations in Health Care from Select Centers of Excellence and Communities of Practice Groups,” home study will be available until March 9, 2020. There are up to 8.0 CE/CMEs available if all courses within the series are completed. To register visit the following link:
• “Introduction to the Department of Defense (DoD) Medical Ethics Center and Discussion of Select Bioethicist Issues within the Military Health System (MHS)”
• “Population Health and Vision: Vision Center of Excellence Initiatives”
• “Biohacking Your Best: Optimizing Human Performance with Lifestyle”
• “Understanding Cardiovascular Autonomic Dysfunction in the Context of Concussion Injuries”
• “Project Extension for Community Health Care Outcomes (EHCO) as an Education Force Maximizer”
• “Blockchain Potential and Opportunity in Health Care”
• “Promising Practices within the Hearing Center of Excellence”
• “Disasters and Mental Health: Impact, Vulnerability, and Early Interventions”
Target Audience
Home study activities are designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, kinesiotherapists, case managers, healthcare executives and other health care professionals who support/care for U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.

All other health care professionals completing this continuing education activity will be issued a Certificate of Attendance. CE/CME credits will vary per course.

To browse all courses available in the DHA CEPO CMS, please visit the following link:
***MGCA Journal
The latest issue of the Journal of Military and Government Counseling is now published and available at
-Also, Dr. Ben Noah is working diligently to update MGCA’s webpage; he is looking for an assistant who is skilled in using WordPress. If anyone is interested, please contact him @
***Research Studies:

  1. Military Leadership Influences on the Veteran Transition Process
    Good Afternoon,
    I am a veteran, completing a doctoral degree, and working on my research for my dissertation. I am studying how military leadership influences the veteran transition process. The link to the survey is below. If you wouldn’t mind passing this voluntary opportunity to friends or other appropriate networks I would be very grateful.
    If you have any other questions, please let me know.
    Thank you for your time.
    Sean Swallen, MA, LPCC
    Certified Mental Performance Consultant®
  2. Title: Mental Health Professionals’ Journey to Serving the Military: Confidence in Competency
    You are invited to participate in a research study examining (1) which mental health professional groups are most interested in working with the military-connected population and how they perceive access and barriers to treating this population, (2) how mental health professionals view other mental health professionals with regards to treating this population posing unique issues, and (3) possible advocacy efforts to reduce barriers to treating military-connected individuals as well as to improve any divide among mental health professional groups.
    Participants will be asked to complete one online survey; the estimated time frame of your participation is approximately twenty minutes.
    Participants should be:
    • a credentialed or licensed mental health provider
    • previously or currently interested in working with the active military, veteran, and/or their family members in the role of a mental health provider.
    If you do not meet the description above, you are not able to be in the study.
  • Educators and Supervisors, we hope you will be willing to share this emailed study invitation with your students who meet the eligibility requirements.*
    You can access the survey at:
    Each participant creates a code consisting of 3 letters and 2 numbers (ie: Nov21), which they will utilize throughout the duration of the research to identify them with the data; therefore, confidentiality will be maintained. This study is strictly confidential. Interested participants will consent to filing out a survey. The survey will have no identifiable information attached and be only reviewed by a member of the research team.
    Your opinion can add value to (a) the appropriate training and advocacy needs to reduce barriers to treating military-connected individuals as well as (b) improve any divide among mental health professional groups providing services to the military population. Please note that participation is voluntary and you will not receive compensation for participating. By clicking the link below, you will be taken to the informed consent and then begin the survey.
    Capella University’s Institute Review Board has approved the research study (#2019-988).
    If at any time you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the lead researcher, Nicole Arcuri Sanders by email (
    We appreciate your time and consideration to volunteer as a participant in this study.
    Nicole Arcuri Sanders, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, BC-TMH, SAC
    Kellie Forziat Pytel, M.S., NCC

***MGCA Newsletter
If you would like to be a part of the upcoming MGCA newsletter, please forward all materials to Tom Watson @
Examples of requested content include:
-Upcoming Veterans / First Responder events in your area
-Related activities and/or community involvement that you have coordinated or in which you have participated
-Related conference presentations that you have done
-Related research you are conducting
-Related legislation impacting our focus populations in your area

***MGCA Mission Statement: The mission of MGCA is to encourage and deliver meaningful guidance, counseling, and educational programs to all members of the Armed Services, Veterans, their family members, and civilian employees of Local, State and Federal Governmental Agencies. Encourage development of professional monographs and convention/conference presentations by any of these agencies. Develop and promote the highest standards of professional conduct among counselors and educators working with Armed Services personnel and Veterans. Establish, promote, and maintain improved communication with the nonmilitary community; and conduct and foster programs to enhance individual human development and increase recognition of humanistic values and goals within State and Federal Agencies.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you!

Natasha Barnes, Ed.D, MGCA Secretary

Natasha Barnes, Ed.D, GCDF, CCSP
Secretary, MGCA