» VA  Introduces  Online  and  Phone  Therapy  Options  for  Vets  with  PTSD

VA Introduces Online and Phone Therapy Options for Vets with PTSD

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 30, 2018 - On March 6, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the commencement of a trial telehealth program providing services to veterans in rural areas. Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will now have remote access to therapy and psychiatric services.

Since the launch was announced, over 500 rural veterans who had not already received PTSD support have enrolled. The two types of psychotherapy the program focuses on are cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy, both based on strong evidence regarding emotional trauma.

“Many concerns have been raised surrounding veterans’ lack of access to timely mental health care,” said Jim Fausone, an attorney with the Michigan law office of Legal Help for Veterans. “The VA’s new initiative seems to be a positive solution for addressing the suffering that many veterans in rural areas endure daily.”

The program supports veterans by setting them up with a care manager who calls them frequently to access the necessary services of online psychiatrists and therapists. An interactive video is used for therapeutic discussion through a VA medical center to either the veteran’s home or to a community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC). The telemanager keeps track of the veteran’s development and works with them to overcome any potential obstacles keeping them from care.

Dr. John Fortney, the leader of the program, is a research health scientist with the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Washington. He explained, “Long distances to urban areas can be a major barrier to care for rural veterans. In a prior trial, we were able to use telehealth technologies successfully to engage veterans in evidence-based, trauma-focused therapy without their having to travel to a distant VA medical center.”

There are now 12 CBOCs nationwide in Iowa City, Charleston, Little Rock, Denver, Seattle and San Diego. Results of the program will be announced in 2020.

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

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