By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Tuesday May 8, 2012
There were no apologies Tuesday from Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to veterans who struggle to get mental health appointments, only a promise that VA will hire additional staff as quickly as possible and a warning that the need for treatment is likely to grow.
Shinseki testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in response to a two-week-old VA inspector general report that found less than 50 percent of veterans seeking help received an initial evaluation within 14 days, which is the VA’s stated goal.
VA had been reporting that 95 percent of first-time patients were receiving a mental health evaluation within 14 days, but the IG found this was not accurate.
Shinseki did not dispute the findings, but said the mental health and well-being of veterans “is the highest priority for me, our department and our nation” and insisted VA has been expanding its ability to help.
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More than 1.6 million men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. Almost half of these heroes are married, and almost half have children - most of whom are five years and younger. Our service members make great sacrifices overseas, but so do the friends, families and loved ones they leave behind.
A new one-of-a-kind resource handbook and video is being made available to servicemembers’ families and friends, courtesy of an independent film production company, Vulcan Productions, owned by philanthropist Paul G. Allen. The handbook and video aim to help families and friends prepare for the emotional challenges encountered before, during and after deployment
Together in partnership with the representatives from the U.S. military, leading researchers and clinicians and veteran service organizations from around the country, Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions is honored to release a new multimedia resource to serve these military families: "A Handbook for Family & Friends of Service Members Before, During and After Deployment".
PRNewswire via COMTEX
July 24, 2012, 9:10 a.m. EDT
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Department of Defense has a new smartphone mobile application to help service members and their families manage the challenges of military life. LifeArmor has seventeen behavioral topics with information, assessments, videos with personal stories and interactive exercises to develop coping skills. LifeArmor can be downloaded for free at the App Store, Google Play and soon on the Amazon Marketplace.
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May 7, 2012
U.S. Army researcher Maj. Gary H. Wynn, M.D., shared new analysis on why some Soldiers suffering from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) never seek care or drop out of treatment early during a presentation today at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting. His presentation, "Epidemiology of Combat-Related PTSD in U.S. Service Members: Lessons Learned," also described the approaches the Army is using to address this issue and improve overall patient outcomes.
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