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Veterans Program
Bridging Access to PTSD Care in Primary Care
Aug 5, 2019 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

father hugs soldier sonEmory Healthcare Veterans Program (EHVP) is known for its innovative research when it comes to treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now the team behind the research is working to make treatment more accessible nationwide. In her role as Director of Mental Health Research and Program Evaluation at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Sheila Rauch, EHVP’s Clinical Director, works to make PTSD care more accessible within the VA by utilizing a version of prolonged exposure for embedded mental health workers in primary care. After demonstrating the effectiveness of the protocol to reduce PTSD symptoms in primary care, Dr. Rauch designed a program to train primary care mental health providers so they are better prepared to help patients struggling with PTSD. “PTSD is a disorder of avoidance; any hurdle to receiving care could be a reason someone seeking [...]

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Veterans Program
Using Virtual Reality as Therapy for PTSD
Jun 17, 2019 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for PTSDJune is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month and Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would like to share how it uses Prolonged Exposure therapy and Virtual Reality Exposure therapy to heal invisible wounds. Our highly skilled team of professionals is led by world-renowned Emory clinical psychologist Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., who has been working in the PTSD field since 1986 and pioneered Virtual Reality Exposure therapy as a treatment for PTSD in veterans and service members. In exposure therapy, we help people confront reminders of the traumatic event, but in a therapeutic manner so that their distress decreases.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

There are many approaches to treating PTSD, and after several decades of research, our program has determined Prolonged Exposure therapy to be the most successful in healing invisible wounds. This process treats PTSD by asking [...]

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Veterans Program
Emory Healthcare Veterans Program Clinical Director Dr. Rauch Talks About Veterans Reintegration and Mental Health
Mar 27, 2018 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

Veteran hugs childMost servicemembers will have some type of adjustment period after returning home from deployment. For each person the process is different depending on different variables during and after deployment. Mental health issues, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma can make that even more difficult. The Emory Veterans Program is here to help them reclaim their lives. Question: How long does it usually take to adjust to normal life again? How long should I wait to see someone if I’m still not feeling like my normal self? Dr. Rauch: That is a good question. If at any time you’re having issues that you feel that you need or want help with, you should come see us. Readjustment often takes a year, and for some people longer, to feel like they’re really back in their life. The readjustment process is different for every individual and often depends on life’s [...]

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Veterans Program
The Impact of Brain Injury on Veterans
Mar 1, 2018 By Suzanne Penna, PhD, ABPP

father hugs soldier sonNearly 20% of deployed military personnel experience traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are any brain injury caused by an outside force. These injuries can be “closed,” such as from a fall or motor vehicle accident or “open,” like from a gunshot wound. Traumatic brain injuries range broadly from mild to severe. People with mild TBI (also called concussion) often fully recover within days to weeks, while those with severe TBI may have significant and sometimes permanent impairments. Fortunately, 70 – 90% of all TBIs in military personnel fall within the “mild” range.

Symptoms of Mild TBI

Traumatic brain injury can cause physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties. Typical symptoms of mild TBI/concussion include:
  • Looking and feeling dazed
  • Being uncertain of what is happening; feeling confused
  • Having difficulty thinking clearly or responding
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Veterans Program
Emory Healthcare Veterans Program Director Dr. Rothbaum on How PTSD Affects Veterans
Feb 7, 2018 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

man with backpackPost-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can result from a traumatic or life-threatening event such as military combat. Thousands of servicemembers and Veterans struggle with PTSD. Often, they resist seeking help because of negative ideas about PTSD or the fear of what others might think. PTSD can affect personal relationships and even destroy families. Question: Can you have PTSD even though you didn’t see combat? Dr. Rothbaum: Absolutely. PTSD can result from any event in which someone felt that they or someone they care about could be seriously injured or killed. Sexual assault survivors, motor vehicle crash survivors, natural disaster survivors, and many others develop PTSD. Approximately 10% of the US population at any given time has PTSD, and most of this is not from combat. Question: What treatment options do you offer besides talking [...]

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Veterans Program
You’re Not Alone: A Mental Health Message for our Veterans
Nov 10, 2016 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

father hugs soldier sonOur veterans and service members are some of the most brave men and women in our country. They’re passionate and disciplined when it comes to protecting and serving our country, which is a commitment we’re grateful for every day.

The Invisible Wounds of War

That bravery continues off duty as well — many carry the heavy weight of the sights and experiences they encountered while serving. Consider these statistics:
  • 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found PTSD to be 15 times more likely for veterans and service members compared to civilians. The same report found depression to occur 5 times more frequently among military members than civilians.
  • The same study from JAMA found 1 in 4 active duty military members suffer from a mental health
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Veterans Program
Emory Healthcare Veterans Program is Helping Heal the Invisible Wounds of War
Sep 1, 2015 By Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

military familyEmory Healthcare launched the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program Sept. 1, a new program for veterans offering clinical care, research and education, focusing on comprehensive treatment for post-9/11 veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), anxiety, depression and conditions stemming from Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Comprised of several initiatives committed to the health and wellbeing of veterans, including Wounded Warrior Project’s newly established Warrior Care Network, Emory is one of four academic medical centers that make up the national network offering quality mental health care for post-9/11 veterans, at no cost to qualified individuals. “Our program focuses on helping heal the invisible wounds of war, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury,” says Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, director of [...]

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