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Latest News

VA News

VA’s Veterans Crisis Line Improves Service With Third Call Center Opening in Topeka, Kansas

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Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has opened its third Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) call center in Topeka, Kansas on the campus of the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center.

VA and PsychArmor Institute Offer Online Suicide Prevention Training

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in collaboration with PsychArmor Institute, a national nonprofit that provides online education and support to Americans who work with, live with or care for military service members, Veterans and their families, recently launched an online suicide-prevention training video, titled “SAVE,” which is designed to equip anyone who interacts with Veterans to demonstrate care, support and compassion when talking with a Veteran who could be at risk for suicide.

Army Veteran got his life – and his daughter back – thanks to VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program

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Vet Gets Life Back

 

Across from Craig Robbins’ desk in his large office in the VA Palo Alto carpentry building is a picture of his daughter at her eighth grade graduation. For Robbins, pictured above, that photo is more than office décor, it’s a reminder of what pushed him to change his life for the better years ago.

Treating Post-traumatic Nightmares in the Military: Imagery Rehearsal Therapy Man laying down with eyes open with an alarm clock

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Treating PTSD Nightmares

 

Nightmares and PTSD

Nightmares are one of the hallmark symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though post-traumatic nightmares may exist independently and do not equate to a diagnosis of PTSD. Post-traumatic nightmares may be described as lengthy, detailed dreams in which the story line evokes intense fear, anxiety or other negative emotions. Many patients report that these nightmares involve trying to avoid or cope with some horrific danger that closely resembles a specific traumatic event.

President Trump’s Executive Order Supporting Mental Health Care for Transitioning Service Members Now Underway

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Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the White House has approved an interagency plan to implement President Trump’s executive order supporting Veterans with mental health care and suicide-prevention resources during their transition from uniformed service to civilian life.

Treating Unresolved Trauma in the Deployed Environment

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Unresolved Trauma

 

For many, the phrase “deployment trauma” brings to mind images of combat: improvised explosive devices, taking small arms fire, or traumatic amputations and brain injuries. Over the last 10 years, direct exposure to combat during deployments has decreased. Nonetheless, treating trauma in the deployed environment remains an ever present challenge for military mental health practitioners. This blog will discuss why even objectively safe deployments trigger trauma and some questions to ask when considering whether to process trauma in the deployed environment.

More Vets Who Are Coping With PTSD From Sexual Assaults Get Honorable Discharges

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Coping PTSD

 

Sexual assault is still a major issue for the military. Reports rose by 10 percent last year, though there is some discussion about whether that is an increase in the number of assaults or an increased willingness of troops to come forward and report them. That would be an improvement because victims of rape in the military often face retaliation, sometimes even a less than honorable discharge from the military.

'Dual use' Veterans may be at risk for unsafe opioid use

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Dr Walid Gellad

 

Dr. Walid Gellad is a primary care physician and health services researcher with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He is also director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. He is considered a national expert on prescription drug pricing and patient medication adherence.

Severe combat injuries could elevate high blood pressure risk in Veterans with PTSD

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Combat Injuries

 

Veterans who served during the Afghanistan or Iraq wars and were severely injured are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, according to a study published in Hypertension. Researchers say injury severity is an independent risk factor for high blood pressure, and does not depend on later development of posttraumatic stress disorder. 

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