Tag Archives: PTSD and substance abuse

Veterans News

Trucking companies scramble to find enough workers. Despite a national unemployment rate topping eight percent, trucking companies are struggling to recruit and retain enough drivers due to a host of factors. But a North Carolina trucking academy reports an enrollment spike thanks to a new Department of Veterans Affairs policy that pays upfront the cost of driver training school for returning military veterans.

New Mental Health Center at VA Palo Alto Health Care System Opens.  Business Wire The Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel joined Veterans, staff and congressional representatives on June 22

Bill proposed to change PTSD military programs.  TheNewsTribune.com U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Monday submitted legislation that would … programs in the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs …

Technology Tapped To Help Reduce Suicide Risk. US Navy Seals “On Wednesday, June 20, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki revealed a push towards making greater use of video conferences between” mental healthcare patients and doctors. Shinseki also “said that an increasing number of Veterans were communicating with the VA through electronic means, such as online chatting and text messaging, a trend that the VA is encouraging as it can help reduce the stigma that some patients feel when they seek help.” The blog points out that in another attempt to help veterans with mental health problems, VA “intends to gradually integrate its electronic health records with those maintained by the Department of Defense.”

VA Highlighting Its Coaching Into Care Program. Stars And Stripes Mental health experts attending a suicide prevention conference hosted last week by Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department “noted that often friends and family members of veterans are more likely to see signs of depression and stress in those former troops than the veterans themselves. As part of post-traumatic stress disorder month, VA officials are trying to remobilize those caregivers in their outreach effort. As part of a national media campaign,” VA is “highlighting its Coaching into Care program, which gives callers advice and ideas on ways to ‘encourage the veteran to seek care while respecting his or her right to make personal decisions.’” In a statement, Shinseki said the program can help VA expand its “reach to those who need our services the most.”

VA Hiring More Mental Health Employees. Healthcare Design Magazine VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel “joined Veterans, staff and congressional representatives on June 22 to open a state-of-the-art, 80-bed acute mental health center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.” The magazine notes that in April, Shinseki “announced VA would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce of 20,590 to help meet the increased demand for mental health services. The additional staff would include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.”

Employment Key To Helping Veterans Adjust To Life Back Home. HealthDay “Having a job and social support are among the factors that greatly reduce the risk of violence by US veterans, a new study finds.” The study’s leader, Veterans Affairs psychologist Eric Elbogen, said in a news release that when “you hear about veterans committing acts of violence, many people assume that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or combat exposure are to blame. But our study shows that is not necessarily true. Our study suggests the incidence of violence could be reduced by helping veterans develop and maintain protective factors in their lives back home.” The study, according to HealthDay, was “published June 25 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.”

Top Court Won’t Consider Cross At US Veterans’ Memorial. Bloomberg News The US Supreme Court has “rejected an Obama administration appeal aimed at preserving a 29-foot Christian cross at a veterans’ memorial on federal land in San Diego, California. The justices, without comment, left intact a federal appeals court decision that the display of the cross is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.” Those “challenging the display, a Vietnam veteran and the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, said the cross was ‘erected for an avowedly religious purpose and used for religious ceremonies for decades.’”

Double-Whammy: PTSD And Substance Abuse. Time Bingham Jamison, a “Marine who saw action in Iraq and came home the worse for wear, is the subject of a new video” by the Veterans Healing Initiative (VHI). The initiative is a “nonprofit group dedicated to getting veterans treatment for substance abuse” and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the video, Jamison, a member of VHI’s military advisory board, says, “VHI offers support to veterans from all conflicts, of all ages, men and women, regardless of military status or medical insurance coverage.” Jamison says his hope “is that people who watch the film are motivated to share its message, energized to donate to its cause, and impassioned to help other veterans in need.”