Army Targets Behavioral Health Issues Using Chain Teaching
July 18, 2007
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 18, 2007) - The U.S. Army launches a "chain teaching" program today to help Soldiers and their families identify symptoms of, and seek treatment for those suffering from, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
Estimates from Global War on Terrorism operations indicate that between 10 and 20 percent of Soldiers redeploying from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan may struggle with PTSD-like symptoms. Many also suffer mild TBI, also known as concussion.
The chain teaching program consists of Army leaders teaching Soldiers about the signs and symptoms of these behavioral health issues. The chain teaching attempts to allay the fear and stigma associated with seeking treatment and counseling. All Soldiers in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard will receive the training within 90 days of today's launch.
"Combat is inherently brutal and difficult, and it impacts humans in different ways," said Gen. George Casey Jr., Chief of Staff of the Army. "We have made significant improvements in the identification and treatment for PTSD and mild TBI, but we must aggressively work research, prevention and treatment of these injuries and encourage Soldiers and their Families to seek treatment."
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are genuine medical and psychological conditions. Both mTBI and PTSD (post combat stress) can have negative effects on a Soldier's personal life, professional abilities, and health. Any Soldier may be affected by both conditions at the same time and every Soldier is entitled to help. These conditions are treatable and can improve significantly with the right care.
The PTSD/mTBI chain teaching program does not replace behavioral health assessment tools and measures already in effect, rather it provides command emphasis and education at the unit/Soldier/Family level to reinforce the Army's commitment to provide the best health care possible. It is part of the overall Army Medical Action Plan, the Army's initiative to develop a holistic approach to a sustainable system, where Soldiers are supported, treated, and vocationally rehabilitated, to prepare them for successful return to duty or transition to active citizenship.
Information regarding the PTSD/mTBI chain teaching program and other behavioral health programs is located at http://www.behavioralhealth.army.mil. This Web site provides resources and information regarding mental well-being for Soldiers and their Family members. Provided by the U.S. Army Medical Department, it is intended for interested Soldiers, Family members, the public, news media and Army Medical Department Beneficiaries. Media seeking more information on Behavioral Health programs may contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-5743.