Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative
Integrating Mental Health and Substance Use Services
July 26, 2011
New York State is facing formidable challenges in serving the mental health needs of veterans returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nearly a quarter of veterans have a current probable diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depression, and an additional 34% had a self-indicated need for mental health treatment. Part of the problem is a short supply of mental health professionals who are adequately trained in identifying and addressing veteran-specific mental health issues. To address this issue, NASW-NYS built on an existing training initiative to increase the number of mental health professionals who are knowledgeable about and accessible to veterans and their families.
Through this grant, NASW-NYS trained a minimum of 500 mental health providers across New York State through four regional, full-day training conferences. Training focued on screening and treating veteran-specific mental health issues, including identifying and treating PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Veterans Specific Advanced Clinical Skill Development. NASW-NYS also conducted an evaluation of the initiative to determine whether participants developed proficiency in assessing and treating the complex mental health needs of returning veterans and their families.