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Mental Health

  • In Norfolk, VA Secretary outlined 5 priorities for overhauling veterans' care

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.

    “The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

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    Topics
    Benefits
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

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    Mental Health
    VA
  • Veterans' health-care gap creates 'greater risk' for opioid abuse

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The information about the veteran is scant, clinical in tone, yet disturbing.

    "At the time of his death, the patient was a male in his forties with a past medical history significant for PTSD, chronic low back pain, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, and depression," the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general reported.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Columbia University studying horse therapy for veterans with PTSD at Bergen County stables

    Type of content: News

    They are each wary and slow to trust others. They each scan their surroundings constantly. And each stays constantly alert for danger.

    But while horses depend on those characteristics for survival, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder can find them debilitating — traits that interfere with family and work life and can result in disturbed sleep, depression and substance abuse.    

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    Mental Health
  • New tools let vets schedule appointments, meet with doctors through their phones

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans will be able to schedule medical appointments online and consult with physicians on their mobile phones through an array of new telehealth offerings unveiled by the White House and Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday.

    The move is part of broader VA reforms promised by President Donald Trump and should expand access to department medical care for tens of thousands of rural and homebound veterans across the country. In some cases, federal money will pay for upgraded mobile phones and tablets to help veterans use the new medical technologies.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Trump Promises Huge Increase in Private Sector Care for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening promised to triple the number of veterans “seeing the doctor of their choice” in coming months as part of an ongoing, ambitious reform plan at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The comments, which came at a veterans rally in Ohio, are likely to again stoke concerns among administration critics of large-scale privatization of VA responsibilities.

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    Topics
    Legislation
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • PTSD Disability Claims by Vets Tripled in the Last Decade

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — More than one in five veterans receiving federal disability payouts suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a figure that has spiked in the last decade.

    Veterans Affairs officials told lawmakers Tuesday that the number of disability cases related to PTSD has nearly tripled in that time, from around 345,000 cases in fiscal 2008 to more than 940,000 cases today.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    VA
  • This App Connects Veterans in Crisis with Other Veterans Who Are Willing to Talk

    Type of content: News

    As a teenager growing up in Wheeling, West Virginia, Justin Miller wanted nothing more than to get out and join the armed forces. He tried a couple times; after the planes struck the World Trade Center on September 11, he met with a recruiter but was turned away after meeting with some personal objections from the recruiter. At that point in his life, he’d already given up his passion for baseball and turned to drugs and alcohol, following in the footsteps of his father, who was himself an addict.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    Peer Support
  • PAWS Act Could Be a Big Help to Veterans

    Type of content: News

    My HABRI Weekly Brief recently featured articles that I think you might find interesting. One was on a study to quantify the effects of service dogs for veterans with PTSD and a companion article was on the PAWS Act, which is under consideration on Capitol Hill.

    The acronym HABRI stands for Human Animal Bond Research Initiative, a non-profit research and education organization that gathers, funds and shares scientific research to demonstrate the positive health effects of companion animals. You can log on to habri.org for more information on the group.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    VA
  • Using Veterans' Health Data, Oak Ridge National Lab Takes On Massive Medical Research Project

    Type of content: News

    What might be the most ambitious health care data analysis to date is happening in East Tennessee.

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working through a massive batch of records from the Department of Veterans Affairs — the records that VA doctors keep on their more than 22 million patients. About a quarter of a million veterans have also donated their genome sequence — basically, their DNA — to the VA, which has been handed over to the national lab.

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    Topics
    Mental Health
    Physical Well-Being
    VA

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