NASW-NYS Chapter Granted Funding for Veterans’ Mental Health
New Training to Enhance Skills and Strengthen Service Network
Celesia Street, LMSW, Communications and Professional Development Associate, NASW-NYS Chapter
As service members return to New York, they and their families are often in need of expert mental health care; yet there is a short supply of mental health professionals who are adequately trained in veterans-specific mental health issues. NASW-NYS is leading the way toward building a strong network of professionals ready to serve the needs of our returning soldiers and their families.
NASW-NYS has received funding from the NYS Legislature, with cooperation and support from the NYS Office of Mental Health to provide eight comprehensive full day training institutes across NYS. The trainings will enhance provider skills in the following areas:
• Understanding of mental health in the context of military culture.
• Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), substance abuse, depression, anxiety and co-occurring disorders in the veteran population.
• Understanding the differences between PTSD and mild TBI symptoms.
• Working with children and families of deployed, injured, and fallen soldiers.
• Navigating the local, state, and federal systems of care.
• Continuum of Care: Working with multi-disciplinary teams throughout the treatment process.
The target audience for the trainings includes social workers, community mental health providers, and other professionals who frequently come in contact with veterans and their families such as primary care physicians, law enforcement, and local social services workers. These trainings will also target students in licensed mental health fields of study who will soon be members of New York’s professional workforce.
NASW-NYS is in the process of forming an Advisory Committee which will consist of experts in Traumatology, Neurology and Psychiatry, PTSD, TBI, Military Mental Health, Veterans Health and Administration. In addition, the Committee will incorporate social work faculty, social work practitioners working with a demonstrated expertise in veterans’ mental health, and consumers such as veterans and/or their family members. The Advisory Committee will work closely with chapter staff to develop a comprehensive training module that will fulfill the educational goals of the project.
The trainings are expected to begin in the spring of 2009 and will be held in the following eight locations:
-Central Long Island -New York City
-Hudson Valley / Westchester County -Central New York
-Northeastern New York -Mohawk Valley
-Southern Tier -Western New York
For additional information about the Veterans’ Mental Health Training Initiative contact: Fred Newdom, Veterans’ Mental Health Training Initiative Coordinator, at 518-463-4741 ext 15 or E-mail: Fred_Newdom@naswnys.org
Training dates & locations will be announced on the NASW-NYS website in the coming months: www.naswnys.org