What came out of this online panel discussion were two major problems:
1) Active-duty military personnel and veterans do not always know about the options out there to help them.
2) Active-duty military personnel especially are often afraid to seek help because of fears how this might affect their military career.
All the panel participants repeatedly said that seeking help would NOT affect a person’s military career. The panel also provided these important websites for military personnel and veterans seeking help with PTSD: www.dcoe.health.mil and www.realwarriors.net
The mission of the DCoE is: “DCoE assesses, validates, oversees and facilitates prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for psychological health and traumatic brain injury to ensure the Department of Defense meets the needs of the nation's military communities, warriors and families.”
And: “The Real Warriors Campaign is an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) to promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning service members, veterans and their families.
Another military program for active duty personnel is the In Transition program, which assigns a coach who is a licensed mental health clinician. The telephone number to get help is 1-800-424-7877.
At the same time that this panel took place, there were other developments in the efforts to help military personnel and veterans suffering from PTSD:
• The May 17th FastCompany.com article "Avatar Teaches Social Workers How to Talk With Iraq and Afghanistan Vets" by Lydia Dishman describes how avatars are being used to help treat PTSD.
• The upcoming PTSD Walk Across America –12,000 miles through 50 states to raise awareness of and funds for PTSD help for active-duty military personnel and veterans – announced it will begin on September 11, 2010. The Facebook page for the walk has been launched at www.facebook.com/PTSDWalk
If you or anyone you know may be suffering from PTSD, please seek help now.
Written by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Los Angeles, CA
Exclusive to HULIQ