June 27 Is PTSD Awareness Day | Web version

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June 24, 2013

Veterans

June 27 Is PTSD Awareness Day

Sergeant therapeutically paints through PTSD healing process

Sergeant therapeutically paints through PTSD healing process
Cherry Point/Flickr.com

As Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day approaches on June 27th, policymakers continue to look for ways to best help our nation's servicemembers and veterans with PTSD and other combat related mental health problems.

RAND research has documented the prevalence of post-deployment mental health problems among our newest generation of veterans, examined the delivery of post-deployment mental health care, and reviewed the treatment capacity of health care systems in response to PTSD.

Recent RAND research exploring issues related to PTSD includes:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Vulnerable Populations

a depressed woman at a window

We hear a good deal about PTSD as a consequence of war-related trauma among military personnel. RAND has contributed extensively to enhancing the system of care available to the many servicemembers and veterans who may experience delayed onset of PTSD. However, far less media attention has been paid to civilians with PTSD as a consequence of traumatic events unrelated to war. These underserved civilian populations include poor and uninsured racial/ethnic minorities, refugees, homeless persons, and children. Read more »

Communities Affected by Disaster Must Be Ready for Psychological Aftermath

a woman sorting through Moore tornado aftermath, photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Physical and mental health challenges are common in communities affected by disasters. In these communities, rates as high as 64 percent have been reported for depression and PTSD, conditions that are hugely expensive to manage. Research shows that abundant social support lowers the risk of these conditions, while studies have also found that early intervention is key for recovery, particularly for individuals at risk for mental health problems. Read more »

Research Is a Fundamental Component of Suicide Prevention

military tags on an American flag

"While our research has taught us many things about suicide prevention we think additional research is critically needed in two areas," writes Rajeev Ramchand. "The first is gun control. The second area is the quality of behavioral health care available to those who need it." Read more »

Military Caregivers Aid Injured Warriors, but Little Is Known About Their Needs

an injured serviceman and caretaker who is a servicewoman, photo by Lori Newman/U.S. Army

Spouses, family members, and others who provide informal care to U.S. military members after they return home from conflict often toil long hours with little support, putting them at risk for physical, emotional, and financial harm. Read more »

Children's Exposure to Violence: Frequency May Not Be the Best Predictor of Negative Symptoms

a sad girl

Whether at home, at school, or in the community, exposure to violence raises concerns about not just the potential for physical harm, but also the longer-term developmental and mental health risks for children. Read more »

Supporting Families Affected by Military Suicide Should Be a Priority for All

a couple consoling each other near Christmas tree

"While many of these families fight for honor and respect from the DoD or support from the VA, the comfort that they need will not be provided by either institution, nor should it be. Rather, it is up to us--as their neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and students--to shower these families with the love and support they need and deserve," writes Rajeev Ramchand. Read more »

Stigma Reduction Programs Could Help Those with PTSD, but the Evidence Is Weak

a serviceman in a chapel, photo by Spc. Roland Hale/U.S. Army

Determining the effectiveness of programs designed to reduce the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder is essential to helping servicemembers seek and receive the care they need. Read more »

If you are interested in discussing the reports or commentary with RAND researchers, please don't hesitate to contact me at Jill_Brimmer@rand.org, (703) 413-1100 ext. 5299.

Sincerely,

Jill

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