The military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have greatly increased the number of veterans returning home with combat exposure, reintegration issues, and psychiatric symptoms. National Guard and Reserve service members and their families face additional challenges, as they prepare for deployment on a part-time basis while still meeting their obligations in their home communities. Unlike active duty service members and families, they do not return to military installations with access to military health services or peers. And in many cases, their home communities may lack the services and resources to address the reintegration issues that might arise.
To address these issues, The Military Support Programs And Networks (M-SPAN) Program Team from the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry has drawn on their experience and expertise in the areas of outreach and access; peer-to-peer programs; family, marital and parenting interventions; and support group facilitation, to develop and tailor programs designed to meet the unique mental health needs of returning veterans and their families, including National Guard and Reserve service members.
Marcia Valenstein, MD, MS, a professor in the U-M Department of Psychiatry and member of the U-M Depression Center, gives a brief overview presentation outlining the unique mental health needs of veterans, as well as successful intervention programs designed specifically for veterans and their families. This is followed by questions and a panel discussion, including Edward J. Thomas, LMSW, BCD, Staff Social Worker, PTSD Clinical Team, and Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and Nick Anderson, Systems of Care Coordinator, Michigan Army National Guard. This event was cosponsored by the AADL and the U-M Depression Center.
For more information on the U-M Depression Center, please visit the Depression Center website at depressioncenter.org or contact Trish Meyer at 734.763.7495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bright Nights Community Forum: Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Returning Veterans