273152 Veterans without benefits: Discharge status and healthcare disparities

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Johanna (Hans) Buwalda, ME, MA, LCPC , VVAW Military and Veterans Counseling, Chicago, IL
Every veteran with PTSD or other mental health issues affects at least 3 civilians. Every veteran with mental health issues who does not receive veteran's benefits either does not receive any care or impacts the civilian healthcare system, which may be ill equipped to provide appropriate interventions. Discharge status determines the access to care under the VA system and many veterans have been given poor discharge status because of the very mental health issues for which they need care. This presentation will discuss the issues of discharge status and the effect on access to care and show the healthcare disparities inherent in the system. We will identify specific actions for both individual clinical providers and for policy stakeholders to effect positive change.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the impact of discharge status on the healthcare of veterans Describe impact of PTSD and other mental health issues of veterans on the civilian population Identify actions that will effect positive change

Keywords: Veterans' Health, War

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Master Degree in Education in Early Childhood Development, and a Master Degree in Psychology, and over 20 years of experience as a therapist, administrator, and trainer working with survivors of war. I serve as Director of Mental Health at VVAW Military and Veterans Counseling, as the coordinator for The Soldiers Project-Chicago, and as a clinical volunteer for Civilian Medical Recourse Network, and the Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.