Tuesday June 12, 2012
What it is?
The Surgeon General and U.S. Army Medical Command Commander is synchronizing behavioral health efforts and services for Soldiers, family members and all other patients, and is conducting a Behavioral Health Training Day Down Video Conference (VTC) on June 12, 2012, from 1200 - 1500 Eastern Daylight Time. The Training Day is mandatory for all MEDCOM behavioral health providers, Regional Medical Commands and Military Treatment Facility Command teams. The providers will review and be trained on behavioral health clinical practice guidelines and the new OTSG/MEDCOM policy on the Assessment and Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (policy memo 12-035, issued April 10, 2012).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a health condition estimated to occur in three to six percent of service members (SMs) with no deployment experience, and in five to 25 percent of SMs who were deployed to combat zones, with combat frequency and intensity being the strongest predictor of the condition. The majority of SMs with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder do not receive treatment for this condition. Behavioral Health is currently the top priority of the U .S. Army Medical Department.
What the Army has done?
The Behavioral Health System of Care Campaign Plan initiative and the Behavioral Health Training Day nest under the Army Campaign Plan for Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention. In 2011, the Army provided an additional $171 million in behavioral health support to sustain implementation of behavioral healthcare initiatives under the categories of access to care, resiliency, quality of care, and surveillance across Army installations worldwide. This same level of effort continued in fiscal year 2012, with a budget of $181 million and is currently resourced through 2017. The Army is also enhancing behavioral services provided to its family members through Child, Adolescent and Family Assistance Centers and the School Behavioral Health Programs.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army is committed to Soldiers and families. The Army understands that early identification of behavioral health issues and intervention can diminish or negate the negative course of some behavioral health issues. In most cases seeking help early can lessen long-term disability, and sharply improve outcomes. It is important that Soldiers and families understand that behavioral health issues resulting from deployment are treatable, are usually curable, and with proper treatment, they can return to productive and engaging lives.
What does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is committed to strengthening psychological resilience and improving the behavioral health of all Soldiers and family members. Soldiers and families will continue to have access to a broad range of behavioral health services throughout all phases of the deployment cycle. The Army is implementing new programs to reach and care for spouses and children in the communities where they live, and fielding new enterprise data platforms to place behavioral health providers into Army Patient-Centered Medical Home primary care clinics. This commitment to the well being and health with these services will continue as the Army resets toward Army 2020.
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