Monitor on Psychology - May 2012 - (Page 14)

Government RELATIONS UPDATE Helping veterans and their families Government agencies and community organizations must build bridges to assist service members, veterans and their families, said APA members at a February congressional hearing. BY DIANE ELMORE, PHD, MPH, AND TARYN PATTERSON, MS W ith many of the military personnel who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq home or slated to return soon, the VA and communitybased organizations must continue to work together to help them transition to civilian life, said APA members at a Feb. 27 congressional hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health. Two APA members, M. David Rudd, PhD, of the University of Utah’s National Center for Veterans Studies, and George Ake III, PhD, of the Duke University Medical Center and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, testified at the invitation of Subcommittee Chair Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.). Rudd highlighted ways in which the mental health community can collaborate with the faith-based community and with college and university campuses to support veterans. Evidence suggests that faith-based institutions can have an important role. A case in point: a 2011 Pew Research Center survey found that veterans who attend religious services at least once a week are more likely to have easy re-entry experiences than those who never attend services. Colleges and universities can also help veterans readjust, said Rudd. In a nationwide survey of student veterans he conducted in 2011, Rudd found that 35 percent reported severe anxiety, 24 percent experienced severe depression and 46 APA member Dr. M. David Rudd, center, testified before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health on the need to help members of the military transition to civilian life. He is joined, from left to right, by Chaplain Dr. John Morris, Dr. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth and APA member Dr. George Ake III. percent reported significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. “With more returning service members taking advantage of the post9/11 GI Bill, college campuses are a great setting for providing the mental health and academic supports necessary for successful reintegration,” said Rudd. He said that there are several efforts under way aimed at helping veterans on campus, including VA-sponsored outreach projects. In addition, Rudd’s National Center for Veterans Studies is launching a national higher education consortium focused on student veterans. Ake highlighted the critical role family members can play in successfully reintegrating service members. He urged policymakers to consider the needs of the nearly 2 million children who have parents in the military, many of whom are dealing with multiple deployments, parental war injuries, grief, loss and other stresses. To help these families, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is collaborating with the Department of Defense, the VA, the Department of Education, Sesame Workshop, Major League Baseball and other groups to provide trauma-informed evidence-based treatment, services and resources. n Dr. Diane Elmore is associate executive director and Taryn Patterson is a doctoral policy intern in APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office. 14 M O N I T O R O N P S Y C H O L O G Y • M AY 2 0 1 2 Lloyd Wolf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - May 2012

Monitor on Psychology - May 2012
President’s Column
From the CEO
Math + science + motherhood = a tough combination
The rights of indigenous people take center stage at AAAS meeting
Interdisciplinary programs that are leading the way
Good Governance Project moves into its next phase
APA publishes third edition of seminal ADHD book for kids
Government Relations Update
In Brief
Random Sample
Judicial Notebook
Psychology’s first forays into film
Time Capsule
Presidential programming
Obesity researchers receive lifetime achievement awards
Top speakers for psychology’s top meeting
Science Watch
Homing in on sickle cell disease
Psychologist Profile
Alone in the ‘hole’
Public Interest
State Leadership Conference ‘12
Perspective on Practice
Education tops council’s agenda
Meet the candidates for APA’s 2014 president
Presidential election guidelines
Division Spotlight
American Psychological Foundation
Support for sexual miniorities

Monitor on Psychology - May 2012