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Entries in veterans' health (2)

Friday
Jul272012

US Labor Department announces more than $20 million in grants to provide job training for more than 11,000 homeless veterans

 The U.S. Department of Labor awarded 90 grants totaling more than $20 million to fund job training and support services that will help more than 11,000 veterans succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded through the department’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

Americans who have served their country should not find themselves without a home," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The grants announced today will help these heroes find good jobs and take us one step closer to the goal of ending veteran homelessness altogether."

The grants announced today are second- and third-year awards to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations – including faith-based and community organizations – that demonstrated satisfactory performance during the past year. All 90 grants are awarded through the HVRP program, with some of the grants specifically set aside to serve formerly incarcerated veterans, and homeless female veterans and veterans with families. The grant recipients are familiar with the areas and populations they are serving.

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grants provide occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, including follow-up services. Grantees are expected to maximize available assistance and find good jobs for veterans by coordinating efforts and resources with the U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, as well as other national, state and local agencies in accordance with the VA’s five-year plan to end homelessness for veterans and their families.

In June, Secretary Solis announced the award of 64 grants through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. Those grants – which are separate from the 90 receiving funds today – are first-year awards totaling more than $15 million and aimed at providing about 8,600 homeless veterans nationwide with job training.

More information on the Department of Labor’s unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans can be found athttp://www.dol.gov/vets.

Tuesday
Apr242012

Impact of deadly combat on mental health receives too little attention, study indicates.

The experience of killing in war is strongly linked with suicidal thoughts, according to a study of U.S. veterans of the Vietnam War.

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of a nationally representative sample of Vietnam War veterans and found that those with more killing experiences were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as those with fewer or no experiences of killing.

The experiences of killing included enemy combatants, prisoners, civilians in general, or women, children or the elderly.

The association between killing and suicidal thoughts remained even after adjusting for variables such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, substance use disorders and combat exposure.

The study, recently published online in the journal Depression and Anxiety, was led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

"The VA has a lot of very good mental health programs, including programs targeting suicide prevention. Our goal is to make those programs even stronger," lead author Shira Maguen, a clinical psychologist at the VA medical center and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the university, said in a medical center news release.

"We want clinicians and suicide prevention coordinators to be aware that in analyzing a veteran's risk of suicide, killing in combat is an additional factor that they may or may not be aware of," she added.

Currently, the mental health impact of killing is not formally evaluated as part of VA or Department of Defense mental health treatments, nor is it typically taken into consideration when assessing a veteran's risk of suicide, Maguen noted.

"We know from our previous research how hard it is to talk about killing," she said. "It's important that we as care providers have these conversations with veterans in a supportive, therapeutic environment so that they will feel comfortable talking about their experiences."

More information

The American Psychiatric Association has more about military mental health.  External Links Disclaimer Logo

(SOURCE: San Francisco VA Medical Center, news release, April 18, 2012)

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