About one-third of more than 2 million military deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, return home with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health conditions. Only 53 percent seek care from a physician, according to a Rand study, but a program is now linking Indiana service members and physicians.
The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University has partnered with the Indiana National Guard, the National Guard Bureau – Psychological Health Program, and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to create the Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP).
The mission of the program is two-fold:
- Train civilian behavioral health physicians in military-specific culture and treatments that focus on needs of military families
- Create a registry of these specially trained providers to serve as a resource for service members and physicians
“The registry is a public access database that allows anyone to search for providers with specialized training in topics such as PTSD,” said Kathy Broniarczyk, MFRI Outreach director. “The combination of face-to-face training of providers with the registry for the ‘consumer’ is an approach that is different than many other things available. We see this initiative as a way to truly make a positive impact on the health of veterans, service members and their families.”
The Star program encourages physicians of all specialties to participate in the first two tiers of the training program, which are free. The first tier focuses on military culture and the impact of deployment on service members and their families.
The second tier examines common behavioral health issues that might present in service members, veterans or families, such as sleep disturbances, substance abuse, suicide/depression, etc.
Psychiatrists are urged to complete the third-tier training, that addresses specific evidence-based clinical interventions to treat PTSD.
“We work with the Center for Deployment Psychology whose mission is to train both military and civilian providers to effectively treat service members and their families,” explained Broniarczyk. “To date, over 300 people have attended the tier one training, and we currently have 70 clinicians listed on the registry with more in process.”
Training sessions are now underway. Find a complete list of dates and locations here.
For information about the program, go to the star providers website or call the Indiana National Guard at (317) 964-7152; ask to speak with a Star Behavioral Health representative.
The ISMA offers PTSD screening tool
The ISMA, ISMA Alliance and the Military Family Research Institute of Purdue University developed a tool that can help you diagnose, treat and refer military members and their families who may be experiencing stress disorders.
The 17-question standardized evaluation form can be downloaded and copied for your files, or it can be scanned into your electronic health record system for easy access.
Find the free screening tool and other resources on the ISMA website.