Health & Disability Advocates to Host Military Sexual Trauma Workshop for Behavioral Health Practitioners and Victim Advocates

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Veteran agency to conduct Bettendorf, IA training for social workers, counselors, and victim advocates on supporting and advocating for survivors of military sexual assaults.

Health & Disability Advocates Veterans Programs will be hosting a workshop focusing on Military Sexual Trauma on July 29th in Bettendorf, IA. This workshop will be presented to community-based organizations interested in serving the behavioral and mental health needs of military service members, veterans, and their families. Professionals from both civilian and military organizations are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Topics at the workshop will include military culture, first disclosures & victim advocacy, toxicity of MST, treatment interventions, recreational & wellness therapies, and an overview. Presentations will include speakers from the Cedar Rapids Vet Center, Music Speaks Therapy, Health & Disability Advocates and Iowa National Guard Sexual Assault Response Office.

“There is a surge of Veterans needing help now, and we want to make sure that our communities are ready to help. One way we can do this is by having these workshops that give healthcare providers the information they need to provide competent services,” says Laura Gallagher Watkin of Health & Disability Advocates.

The goal is to create a workshop where providers are able to leave with an understanding of how community organizations can help or collaborate with military organizations, and receive a best practices foundation in working with this unique population. Additionally the workshop aims to foster an environment of discussion on practical ways for anyone to work with survivors of trauma.

Previous attendees have given the following feedback after attending similar workshops:
“This was a great workshop, it helped me to understand MST and women better.”
“It was helpful to learn more about military culture and its impact on the issue.”
“Excellent presentation and appreciated the opportunity for civilian and military providers to interact.”

The workshop will be held Wednesday, July 29th at the Bettendorf Public Library in Bettendorf, IA. , and costs $30 with scholarships available upon request. The workshop has been approved to provide six Continuing Education Units for Illinois & Iowa licensed behavioral health professionals & credits for Military Victim Advocates. To register for and learn more about the workshop, visit

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Molly Knapp
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