The Roundup -

Exciting Opportunities for Veterans with PTSD June 27th


Civil War Veterans called it Soldiers Heart. World War II identified it as Shell Shock. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase Combat Fatigue. All of these are different names for Post Traumatic Stress, commonly known as PTSD. PTSD is a serious condition that may develop after a person is exposed to a wide range of traumatic events. Combat Military Personnel are at great risk with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) estimating that 830,000 veterans suffer from PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can include negative changes in beliefs and feelings, nightmares, increased anxiety, substance abuse, feeling alienated and alone, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders, depression and a loss of interest in activities disrupting both work and home life. The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 22 veterans commit suicide in the United States every day, that’s one every 65 minutes, as a result of PTSD. In the past 10 years, Montana has lost approximately 2000 veterans to suicide. That’s one approximately every 36 hours. Suicide rates in the military and among veterans have increased significantly since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

22 Boots is a program being presented to bring awareness of PTSD to our community and direct veterans in finding resources to assist them with their battle. Montana Warriors on the Water, an extension of the Miles City Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, will be on hand to present their program designed to provide outdoor recreational opportunities and therapy to veterans of the United States Military, especially those that are combat wounded or suffering from issues associated with PTSD. They hosted their 1st event June 8-15, 2015. R.I.V.E.R. (Rural Institute for Veterans Education and Research) has an exciting new opportunity for veterans to not only help themselves, but also reach out to assist other veterans. Veterans are having long wait lines for care; and in the case of mental health, appointments are limited and proving to be inadequate. A peer-to-peer approach that is being promoted is expansion of the role of the EMT, to that of Community Veteran EMT. The CV-EMT program that is supported by the IAVA, includes specialized training specific to veteran’s issues bridging the gap between VA visits during times of crisis. Also sharing some resources will be Kerrie Wheeler, LCPC, Psychological Health Coordinator with the MT Army National Guard Outreach program. Kerrie has more than 25 years of experience with a Master’s degree in Counseling, a Master’s degree in Human Services as well as several other licenses and affiliations. With hundreds of hours of training in the treatment of trauma, she assists in the development of networks of service providers located in local communities. VFW Post Commander Les Polland and American Legion Post Commander Jeff Wadell will also be speaking. Please join us on June 27th at Veterans Memorial Park from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. For questions or concerns please contact Everett Crum at 406-488-5363 or DelRae Steinbeisser at 406-488-4646.


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