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Clinicians Checking in on our Veteran Patients Mental Health

Clinicians Checking in on our Veteran Patients Mental Health

Clinicians Checking in on our Veteran Patients Mental Health

As clinicians, checking in on our veteran patients in mental health is critical. Current events are weighing heavily for many of our veteran patients and their families. Those who have lost friends, daughters, and sons during the war on terrorism may be asking themselves if the sacrifice was worth it.

Service men and women who missed birthdays, graduations, and other defining milestones to fight for our freedom may feel that their efforts were a waste. Emotions are running high as they try to process the current picture in Afghanistan.

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Mental Health

With the evacuation mission now complete, many may be trying to resolve if their years of sacrifice were worth it. For most veterans, war continues to be a part of their daily life causing mental health problems. Studies show that 30% of military personnel suffer from a mental health condition. There is great potential for current events to serve as a trigger for an increase in post-traumatic-stress symptoms.

Mental health is of utmost importance in these trying times. It is our job to give them grace, to deliver resources for coping, and recognize the potential impact on mental health.

I could never comprehend what these men and their families have endured – the sounds that can’t be silenced, the images that can’t be unseen. I can’t fathom the pain families must feel that have lost. I will never understand the extent of the sacrifices that were made. But I can understand that mental health is of utmost importance in these trying times. I understand the importance of allowing them to process their current emotions and encouraging reflection in healthy ways. I understand the importance of showing that we are here.

As clinicians, we need to recognize the impact this news has on our patients including veterans, active-duty servicemen, and veteran families. It is our job to give them grace, to deliver resources for coping, and recognize the potential impact on mental health.

  • We need to check on our veterans and screen them for new or worsening symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.
  • We need to make sure they have the support that they deserve as they work through the day-to-day.

It is our turn to protect the patients and families that have given up so much to protect us.

How to Help Your Veteran Patients and Their Families

While attending The Florida Behavioral Health Association conference #FBHA, we met our friends at The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone. They specialize in providing personalized mental health care services for any person who has served in the United States Armed Forces regardless of discharge status. They also treat military family members and provide local resources for additional support.

For more information, visit their website: centerstone.org

What are you doing in your clinics to support your veterans? What resources are you recommending for family members struggling to process current events? Do you track veteran status in your documentation? If so, are you employing phone call check-ins or any strategies to reach out to patients who may not have been seen in office recently? In what ways can we better honor and care for our vets in the behavioral medicine sector?

Use of patient documentation is an essential aspect for improving clinical care. Keep up to date documents will allow you to quantify patient progress and visualizing the results.

Register for the Free Webinar: Treating Patients Better with Outcome Measurement

Webinar-3

In this 30-minute session, we'll show you how to:

  • Collect patient feedback in real-time
  • Monitor patient progress on a global dashboard
  • Evaluate the quality of services and adjust treatment plans
  • Prevent a crisis before it happens 
  • Customize your own metrics to improve patient outcomes

Getting Started: Checking in on our Veterans

To better honor and care for our veterans  consider sharing the above information with your clients and colleagues. It's our turn to protect and treat the patients and families that have given up so much to protect us.

 

 

 

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