Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 1, 2009

VA’s Rural PTSD Initiative, Home Treatment in Rural Areas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 10:21 pm

We just noticed this Newsweek Exclusive, this bears watching. It does appear to be a logical extension of Vet Clinics rolled out so many years ago.

Full Article at: Big changes underway at the VA could mean better treatment for thousands of vets
By Jamie Reno | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Oct 1, 2009

VA’s new philosophy:
“VA has launched its first-ever nationwide search for veterans in rural areas who suffer from PTSD but are unable or unwilling to travel long distances to a VA office. Given the fact that 38 percent of veterans live outside big cities, which the VA acknowledges, this rural outreach seems especially overdue. Dr. Harold Kudler, a VA psychiatrist since 1984 and associate director of the agency’s Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers, heads a program in North Carolina that will partner with rural health centers and National Guard armories to find and treat veterans in outlying areas, using specially equipped vans for house calls. “We should be up and running in three months,” says Kudler, adding that similar programs are being developed around the country. “The VA is no longer going to wait for veterans to come to us—we have to go to them.”

Finding veterans with PTSD is one problem; persuading them to be treated is another. As many as seven in 10 veterans refuse mental-health treatment even when it is offered, according to a 2008 study by the RAND Corporation. Further complicating matters is the fact that there is no universally accepted ideal treatment for PTSD. But Dr. Matthew Friedman, who runs the VA’s National Center for PTSD, says extensive research by the agency has concluded that two approaches appear to be the most effective. One, called cognitive-processing therapy, seeks to help the sufferer by identifying and changing dysfunctional thinking, behavior, and emotional responses. The other, prolonged-exposure therapy, consists of reliving and confronting the trauma and learning to think differently about it.”

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