In December 2011, US Troops were withdrawn from Iraq, joining thousands of previously deployed comrades who have already returned home to civilian life.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.
·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 www.va.gov 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).
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.
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.
·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:
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!
Sincerely, The Staff of the National Center for PTSD
National Center for PTSD - White River Junction, Vermont 05009 Visit our website: www.ptsd.va.gov
*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.