There are many interventions and efforts throughout DoD that include components for the prevention of depression, such as Combat and Operational Stress Control programs, Total Force Fitness programs, as well as multimedia public awareness campaigns like the Real Warriors Campaign. These initiatives address aspects that lead to depression, from symptoms to life stressors.

On an individual basis, there are protective factors, such as activities and ways of thinking that can help to avoid development of depression. These include:[ Reference 1 ]

  • Physical activity
  • Supportive social and family interactions

  • Recognizing a purpose to one’s life

  • Spiritual involvement
  • Being connected within a community
  • Involvement in activities that the individual sees as meaningful
  • Recognizing and being thankful for aspects of one’s life