Press Releases: Behavioral Health and Primary Care Professionals Prepare for Returning Veterans and their Families
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Professional education program to educate providers about the unique needs of Veterans and their families
WASHINGTON, DC (Nov. 10, 2011) — With approximately 39,000 U.S. troops slated to leave Iraq by the end of December 2011, behavioral health and primary care professionals are preparing to meet Veterans’ needs by participating in a new program: the Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate. The program is designed to teach these healthcare professionals how to provide culturally sensitive and clinically competent care for Veterans and their families as they transition back into civilian life.
In a notable partnership, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare has joined with the U.S. Department of Defense Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University and Essential Learning to launch this new professional education program. Based on the latest evidence and clinical practice guidelines, the program will inform civilian providers about military culture and the behavioral health challenges that may result from combat or deployment.
“Reintegrating back into a family and community can be a difficult transition for some Veterans,” said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council. “Nearly 40 percent of those deployed to combat operations since 2001 are ‘citizen soldiers’ who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. They are going to be relying on civilian healthcare providers to be informed about their unique needs as they return to communities without a military base or Veterans Affairs facility.”
While behavioral health and primary care providers are trained to provide treatment for numerous psychological and physical health problems, many need to learn more about the impact of combat and deployment on Veterans and their families. The Behavioral Health Certificate’s self-paced, 14-course, online curriculum offers 20+ continuing education hours for professionals for $350. Providers who complete the certificate program will gain applicable knowledge and evidence-based skills to ensure the services they provide to Veterans and their families are culturally sensitive and clinically competent.
Mental health disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other reason . Many service members have experienced multiple deployments or longer deployments than in any war since World War II. This increases the risk for psychological and physical health problems , as well as family disruptions and breakdowns. Many of the more than 43,000 Veterans injured during the past decade have returned home with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, traumatic brain injury, and addiction disorders, and many have died from suicide . Despite this fact, Only about half of service members who need help for behavioral health problems seek it, and only half of those who seek help receive adequate care.
The new program was introduced at a national webinar hosted by the National Council, CDP, and Essential Learning on Thursday, November 10. Speakers discussed the expanding role of civilian providers to respond to the needs of Veterans and their families in communities nationwide and how this curriculum prepares these providers to be culturally sensitive and clinically competent when caring for Veterans and their families. Visit www.thenationalcouncil.org/veterans to watch the archived webinar and receive additional information about the Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate, including information about upcoming free Webinars.
About Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate
The Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate is designed to help providers offer culturally sensitive and clinically competent healthcare services — to address posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, other mental illnesses and addiction disorders — to America’s Veterans and their families. This 14-course, online curriculum offers 20+ continuing education hours and is based on the latest evidence and clinical practice guidelines for treating Veterans. Each course threads real-life cases with applicable knowledge and skills to prepare civilian providers for meeting the needs of Veterans and their families. The certificate program is a collaboration among the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the U.S. Department of Defense Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University, and Essential Learning.
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