Wednesday, February 01, 2012

PTSD Monthly

In This Issue

February 2012

This Month's Feature
After the Welcome Home

Community Support for Troops and Family

In December 2011, US Troops were withdrawn from Iraq, joining thousands of previously deployed comrades who have already returned home to civilian life.

All who experience war are changed by it in some way; most troops and families will experience reintegration challenges. Some will also develop mental health issues that need to be addressed. About 50% of Veterans will seek care at VA. Others, and their family members, will seek services in the community. This update is to remind all of us that war continues to affect troops and families even after they are reunited.

Here are some tips and free trainings to make this transition smooth.

In Case of Crisis

The Veteran Crisis Line is available 24/7 to assist family, friends and Vets. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or text 838255.

Learn What to Expect

Deployment affects the entire family. Browse our Return from War section to learn more on:

·         Common reactions to expect

·         Problems to watch out for, like PTSD

·         Effects on family and work

·         What you can do to help

Provide Support

Once you understand some of the challenges Veterans and families face, you can offer support or help connect them to support groups.

Day to Day Life Needs

Find resources and ways to help:

·         Search the National Resource Directory for links to 10,000+ resources on employment, housing, child care and more.

·         Volunteer with Joining Forces. Help neighbors or colleagues. You or your organization can get involved locally or virtually.

·         Turn to the "Mega Resources" such as VA and DoD, which provide a broad range of services. States also provide many services, including a state office of Veteran affairs (found in your local listings).

PTSD Research

A growing number of women are serving in the US military. Many studies continue to look at this population to see how they can best be served. One study, Telemental Health and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Female Veterans with Military-related PTSD, investigates how well an effective therapy works when provided via video teleconferencing. Learn more about this study of female Veterans.

For Providers

One in three returning US Service Members experiences signs of depression, PTSD, or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Family members of these Veterans will also seek services. Primary care, community mental health, and other providers can prepare by participating in free trainings now available.

Free Online Educational Series starts in February

From the War Zone to the Home Front: Supporting the Mental Health of Veterans and Families*. A series of free, live, online trainings for primary care, mental health, VA and all providers. Free CEs are available. Register now*.

·         Every Thursday 11:30 am - 12:30 pm ET (starts 2/23/2012)

·         14 online sessions, attend one or all

·         Targeted to community primary care and mental health providers

·         Interactive format allows you to ask questions of presenters

·         All sessions archived online

Presented by NCPTSD in collaboration with the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital: Home Base Program*.

New PTSD 101 Courses

PTSD 101 is a web-based curriculum that offers over 20 courses related to PTSD and trauma. Several lectures in a series of online courses covering the VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guidelines are now available, including:

·         Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and PTSD
Acupuncture? Meditation? Learn what the best research tells us about what these treatments have to offer.

·         Anger, Aggression and PTSD
Often seen following deployment, learn more about this common issue and best practices for treatment.

·         Prolonged Exposure Therapy
A course describing this first line treatment for PTSD.

·         Understanding Military Culture
If you have no military experience, the course will help you relate with this cohort.

New Fact Sheet: Moral Injury at War

War creates unique challenges for those providing treatment. Transgressive acts of others and unintentional errors can occur and lead to moral injury. Learn more about moral injury, PTSD, and treatment implications.

VA Providers

VA PTSD Case Consultation Presentations

Dial in to one or more VA PTSD Case Consultation Presentations

·         3rd Tuesday of the month, 2 - 3 pm EST

·         Next: 2/21 - Dr. Patricia Resick on Dissociative Symptoms in PTSD Treatment

Based on questions posed to the VA PTSD Consultation Program. Email to sign up.

PTSD in the News

Cannabis Use May Prolong PTSD Symptoms
This study provides some evidence that using marijuana decreases treatment benefits, however it leaves much to be explored. Like alcohol, yet still illegal, marijuana may seem to help symptoms in the short run, but have long term costs. Temporary alleviation of symptoms might also prevent people from getting effective care. Read more*...

Sourcebook Volume 1:
Woman Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration

This report (PDF) describes women Veterans receiving VA care and presents gender comparisons. (scroll to "Research Publications") Key findings:

·         The number of women Veterans using VHA has nearly doubled over the decade

·         Among women Veteran VHA users, 37% use mental health services

Acting Out War's Inner Wounds
In a recent New York Times article, one soldier discusses how acting helps him cope with PTSD symptoms. While experts say that public speaking alone is not a solution for the symptoms of PTSD, it can help people articulate their emotions and give meaning to their experiences. "It gives people some authority over what happened to them," said Dr. Matthew Friedman. Read more*...

Please encourage your colleagues and others to subscribe to this monthly listserv!

The Staff of the National Center for PTSD

National Center for PTSD - White River Junction, Vermont 05009
Visit our website:

*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000