Since servicemembers began returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with what came to be called "invisible wounds," including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and depression, there has been tremendous progress in identifying and supporting those who are wrestling with the aftermath of trauma. Despite these advances and extensive efforts to decrease stigma and increase help-seeking, suicide rate in the veteran population has continued to rise faster than among civilians. At an event on June 24, 2019, CNAS explored an array of innovative programs to support veterans and their families—and asked how they can be sustained in a changing landscape.
Panel 1: Innovations in the Treatment of Invisible Wounds
Spencer Milo of the Marcus Brain Health Institute, Miguel Ocegueda of Headstrong, Michael Brennan of the Road Home, and Maria Llorente, the Acting Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Patient Care Services, joined Heather Kelly of APA to discuss treatment options and programs for the invisible wounds of war.
Panel 2: Non-Clinical Approaches for Supporting Veteran Well-Being
Sam Pressler of Armed Services Arts Program, Kenneth Falke of Boulder Crest, Scott Jensen of Team RWB, and Tara Galovski of WoVeN joined Terri Tanielian of RAND to discuss non-clinical approaches for supporting veteran well-being.
Adam Sorensen, a retired Reconnaissance Marine who was featured in the documentary Homemade, which was screened at this event, gave remarks about his experience following his military service.
Panel 3: Launching, Integrating, and Sustaining Networks of Care
Alex Balbir of Warrior Care Network, Caitlin Thompson of Cohen Veterans Network, and Marsden McGuire of the VA Office of Mental Health joined Kacie Kelley of the Bush Institute Military Service Initiative to discuss launching, integrating, and sustaining networks of care.