DEBRIEFING PTSD.

DEBRIEFING PTSD. Newly confirmed Army Secretary Pete Geren will hear from mental health professionals about a new program today that that the DoD plans to implement to raise awareness among returning soldiers about PTSD. It includes:

Two 30-minute multimedia presentations [where] soldiers will learn to identify basic symptoms in themselves and other soldiers. Afterwards, health professionals will answer troops' questions. The Army also has produced a video to make soldiers' family members more sensitive to possible warning signs and treatment options.

Although this hardly eliminates the backlog of soldiers who are waiting for treatment for PTSD, the main mission of this program appears to be to spread the word that soldiers with symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, and explosive outbursts aren't pansies, but rather that they're experiencing legitimate symptoms of a common reaction to combat stress. There's a long way to go in terms of funding, and it's too early to say yet how effective these "multimedia presentations" will be, but it appears that the DoD is actually trying to work toward solutions on this front.

--Kay Steiger

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