A 2012 National Council for Behavioral Health report, Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, shows that of the 2.4 million active duty and reserves who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, almost 30% (730,000 men and women) will have a mental health condition. More than 18% will suffer from PTSD, major depression or a combination of both disorders. A 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey reports increase in prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use with one post-deployment study showing that 27% of veterans met criteria for alcohol use.
Less than half of returning veterans needing mental health and addiction treatment services receive any treatment. Of those receiving treatment for PTSD and major depression, only 30% are receiving evidence-based care. Untreated mental and addiction disorders wreak havoc on the lives of veterans. One in three homeless men are veterans, and almost 60% of homeless veterans are minorities. The unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is some 40% greater than that of the general population.
Today civilian practitioners are on the frontlines of our veterans’ battlefield back home as more returning veterans and their families are seeking mental health and addiction treatment services outside the VA — in their own communities.
The National Council for Behavioral Health has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense Center for Deployment Psychology and Relias Learning (formerly Essential Learning) to offer the Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate.
Who Should Take the Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate Courses
The Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate is ideal for clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists in general healthcare, mental health, and addictions treatment settings that serve veterans and their family members in the community.
The certificate courses also offer a good overview for all those who advocate for better services for veterans and help them reintegrate into the community.
While the certificate courses may be purchased for individuals, discounted group rates offer multiple staff in an organization access to all the courses.
Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate Curriculum
The evidence-informed curriculum for the Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate offers 15 self-directed, self-paced, online courses for 20+ hours of CE credit.
The course content provides:
- The latest clinical guidelines from the Department of Defense.
- Applicable knowledge and skills through real-life examples.
- Understanding of cultural sensitivities to ensure clinical competency.
- Practitioners may take the courses at their convenience and receive a certificate when all courses are completed. Program graduates step up to fill an important unmet need in the community and join a growing group of committed civilian practitioners and organizations providing exceptional services to veterans and their families.
The 15 certificate courses include the following:
- Best Practices in Substance Use Treatment Compliance
- Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD in Veterans & Military Personnel
- Depression in Service Members and Veterans
- Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence
- Epidemiology of PTSD in Military Personnel and Veterans
- Fundamentals of Traumatic Brain Injury
- Identification, Prevention, and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior for Service Members and Veterans
- Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Returning Veterans
- Military Cultural Competence
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD for Veterans and Military Service Personnel
- Provider Resiliency and Self-Care: An Ethical Issue
- PTSD Then and Now, There and Here
- The Impact of Deployment and Combat Stress on Families and Children, Part I: Understanding Military Families and the Deployment Cycle
- The Impact of Deployment and Combat Stress on Families and Children, Part II: Enhancing the Resilience of Military Families
- Working with the Homeless Part 1: An Overview
Continuing Education credits are available through the following national organizations upon completion of all 15 certificate courses:
- American Psychological Association: 20.5 hours
- Association of Social Work Boards: 20.5 hours
- NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals: 16 hours
- National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates: 20.5 hours
State CEs are also available.
Why the Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate Is Important to Your Organization
Increasingly, Veterans and their families are seeking mental health and primary care services in their communities. Unfortunately, few civilians understand the military — a culture of its own — and are thus unable to provide culturally sensitive and clinically competent services.
Understanding military culture is important for providing appropriate and clinically sound services to military personnel and families. Military culture is complex and completely separate from the civilian experience. The Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate courses help you improve cultural and clinical competencies. By completing the certificate program, you will you join a community of civilian providers that specialize in serving veterans and their families, fill an important unmet need in your community, and make your services stand out among other providers.
How to take the Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate Courses
Individuals may enroll online for the Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate for $350. Upon enrolling, you can access your courses online for 12 months from the date of purchase. In order to receive continuing education credits, you must review all of the course content, achieve an 80% score on the post-test, and complete the course evaluation. Upon completion of all 15 courses, you will be able to print your Serving Our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate issued by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the U.S. Department of Defense Center for Deployment Psychology, and Relias Learning.
These courses are available for free to National Council organization members who are also clients of Relias. When accessed through the Relias Learning Management System, enrollment, tracking and reporting of your training program will be streamlined. To get a live overview of our Veterans Behavioral Health Certificate courses for organizations and a tour of our online training system, schedule a demo today.
Veterans Behavioral Health Resources
- National Council for Behavioral Health report on Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom
- National Council Magazine, special issue on serving veterans in the community
- SAMHSA technical assistance packet for Becoming a TRICARE Provider