The Skyrocketing Costs of Mental Health

Ensuring the mental health of Americans is a costly affair.  Three recent unrelated occurrences should help us realize there is no inexpensive way to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illness.  By now most of us have heard about the “broken” Veterans Administration and its failure to provide timely services that has led premature deaths of veterans.  Newspapers, broadcast media and numerous blogs have reported about various calls for the resignation of VA Department Secretary Eric Shinseki following a few damaging reports about unacceptable medical practices involving veterans—particularly the report out of Phoenix that veterans

were dying after secret waiting lists were discovered falsifying wait times for treatment….

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#Americans, #Concussions, #Department, #Health, #Institute, #Judge, #President, #SocialWork, #Suicide, #Veterans

Moral Injury & Our Own Betrayal: Does It Connect To PTSD?

Moral injury is a hot button phrase that has been used to describe many war-related trauma symptoms that don’t necessarily fit under the PTSD umbrella. Moral injury was first introduced by Jonathan Shay, a psychiatrist who drew on instances from history and literature to help shape the undefinable difference war Veterans display when they return. …

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#MoralInjury, #PTSD, #Veterans

Inadequate Support for Canadian Veterans

As featured in the Huffington Post, Canadian Press Correspondent Murray Brewster discusses remarks from distinguished former military, Senator Romeo Dallaire, regarding the vast divide between the government’s political messaging promoting the interests of Canada’s veterans and the legal stand being ……

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#SocialJustice, #Veterans

The Epidemic Of Sexual Assault

I had the honor of attending a Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) event as part of April’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. Unlike many other months of awareness, like Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Black History Month, or most recently, Social Work Month, Sexual Assault Awareness seems as though it is the elephant in the room. We can do better.

According to the National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, a person is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes.  The Department of Labor estimates that between 20-48% of females have been sexually assaulted while involved in training or military duty. But women aren’t the only ones at risk. …

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#Military, #SexualAssault, #Veterans

Who Let The Dogs In?

The dogs lay in peaceful repose on the Old Main 100 floor as Wartburg College students filed into Military Families and Subcultures, a first-of-its-kind course in Iowa. The students would study issues facing military families and engage in a solution — training service dogs. Dr. Susan Vallem, professor of ……

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#Military, #ServiceDogs, #Veterans

Professional Social Work Class To Host PTSD Conference

Students of Chadron State College in Nebraska are tackling PTSD issues in their upcoming conference on November 13, 2013. Each year, the seniors of the social work class focus on an important issue to educate the community, and discuss ways to meet the needs discussed in the topic. This year, PTSD is at ……

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#ChadronStateCollege, #Miltiary, #PTSD, #SocialWork, #Veterans

Bridging the Experience Gap between Transitioning Veterans and Civilian Counselors

In the course of a dialogue, whether in a therapeutic setting, a social engagement, or even in a political environment, it is necessary to first bridge the distances in paradigms and experiences among participants, so that a common understanding between communicants can be realized. Few ……Full Story @

Social Work Responds To Military’s Mental Health Problems

One of the beauties of social work is its ability to follow the need.  Social workers have been leaders in the practice of responding to traumatic events.  Now we are witnessing the profession’s ability to adapt and marshal its resources to meet an emerging challenge by expanding the practice of working with military personnel and their families. …Full Story @

LGBTQ Military Couples & Families Experience Far from Equal Benefits

For the second consecutive year the Department of Defense has designated June, as it LGBTQ pride month. That statement alone would make any advocate pause and enjoy the moment of just how far we have come. Since the repeal of “Don’t ask Don’t tell”(DADT) on September 20th, 2011 many ……Full Story @

Wag Your Tails For Service Dogs: How Dogs Can Give Back To Veterans

Dogs are man’s best friend, and our connection to them can be traced back for thousands of years. For thousands of years, dogs have been beside humans and have assisted them with a large variety of tasks. For those with disabilities, this connection is even greater. Guide dogs, service dogs, ……Full Story @