Veterans’ Mental Health Needs are Focus of Online Continuing Education Courses at Professional Development Resources

Professional Development Resources, a nationally recognized provider of accredited continuing education units for psychologists, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and registered dietitians, is featuring a series of online courses aimed at training professionals to help with the mental health needs of veterans and their families.

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Veterans Day 2012

Since September 11, 2001, more than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Long deployments and intense combat conditions require optimal support for the mental health needs of our service members and their families.

Jacksonville, Florida (PRWEB) November 08, 2012

During the week surrounding Veterans Day, Professional Development Resources is featuring ten of its online continuing education courses that train professionals to treat mental health problems that are seen in many members of the military and their families.

One of the most serious conditions among those exposed to combat is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal, in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs summarizes the probabilities of certain groups having PTSD at some point in their lives:

  •     About 7-8% of the general population
  •     About 11-20% of Irag/Afganistan Veterans
  •     About 10% of Gulf War Veterans
  •     About 30% of Vietnam Veterans

“The numbers are staggering,” says Leo Christie, PhD, CEO of Professional Development Resources. “A recent White House Executive Order dated August 31, 2012 states: ‘Since September 11, 2001, more than two million service members have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Long deployments and intense combat conditions require optimal support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families. The need for mental health services will only increase in the coming years as the Nation deals with the effects of more than a decade of conflict.’”

The stresses that are part of active deployment – particularly in combat areas – do not cease when service members finish their tour of duty and return to civilian life. The statistics noted above are remarkable when one considers that it is not only the individual service member who is affected by the symptoms, but also his or her family members. This means that specialty mental health services may be required for marital issues as well as child behavior problems and other family stressors.

Christie adds “with increasing numbers of returning service personnel and their families presenting in acute distress, it is unlikely that any mental health professional will NOT encounter them in his or her clinical office. Our goal is to offer them the specialized information they need in order to deliver effective treatment.”

During the week surrounding Veterans Day 2012, Professional Development Resources is featuring ten of its online continuing education courses that offer training in the specialized knowledge and skills needed to treat military service personnel and their families.

Among the online continuing education courses that are featured this week are:

“We are very pleased to have these courses and to offer them for accredited continuing education units,” says Christie. “I hope our special offer will make this vital information available to every professional who works with veterans and their families.”

About Professional Development Resources, Inc.

Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – as well as many other national and state boards – has focused its efforts on making accredited continuing education units more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.

Contact:
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.
904-645-3456
http://www.pdresources.org/