Carlton Drew, DCoE Education directorate director on February 28, 2011
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr.
Trauma exposure in the armed services has become an area of intense focus during the past several years. With the increase in operational tempo for service members, longer deployments and dangerous work environments, the need for experienced providers who are trained in evidence-based treatments is clear.
In addition to President Barack Obama’s proposed budget increase to help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD), the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs recently provided guidance to the service surgeon generals to help ensure providers deliver higher-quality, evidence-based care to service members affected by these conditions. In the guidance document, “Guidance for Mental Health Provider Training for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder,” the Defense Department outlines recommendations for implementing mental health provider training for providers in military treatment facilities that treat PTSD and ASD with evidenced-based therapies.
DCoE, with the Center for Deployment Psychology, contributed to the development of this guidance document after identifying two key evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder: cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy. For information on these therapies, please visit the health professionals section on the DCoE Website.
It is joint efforts like these that truly impact the care and treatment of our service members who are returning from war with these psychological health conditions, and I feel we must continue to work together to provide the best care for our warriors and their families. I encourage you to take advantage of these training resources:
- Center for Deployment Psychology: Offers several multi-day workshops in evidence-based psychotherapies, visit www.deploymentpsych.org
- Online PTSD and TBI Collaborative Training Calendar: Lists Defense Department training opportunities specifically related to evidence-based treatments for PTSD and traumatic brain injury for health care providers assigned to military installations across the U.S. and abroad, visit www.dcoe.mil/TrainingCalendar.aspx
The guidance document is now available for download, and as always, we look forward to your feedback. If you’re a warrior, family member or health professional, don’t forget the DCoE Website includes psychological health information specifically for you.