North Carolina News

Furloughs at Lejeune

Government officials this week furloughed behavioral and mental health workers, striking a blow to a military already trying to clear a backlog of mental health claims. These furloughs are affecting behavioral health programs at Camp Lejeune resulting in fewer available behavioral and mental health appointments for marines, sailors, and their families and longer waits for these services.  Despite the furloughs, the director of mental health for Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, Navy Capt. Sawsan Ghurani, said the quality of care will […]

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New TBI Tissue Bank

Pentagon officials announce the establishment of the world’s first brain tissue repository established by the Defense Department.  This repository will aid researchers to understand the underlying mechanisms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in service members with the goal of providing a better understanding of how to prevent, diagnose, and treat traumatic brain injuries and to ensure that servicemembers have productive and long, quality lives. Dr. Daniel Perl, a neuropathologist and the director of the repository states, “Little is known about […]

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Art Therapy Program

Camp Lejeune recently held an art exhibit titled, Healing Wounds Through Expressive Freedom, which included the artwork of 30 marines and sailors from the base who participate in the arts program as a component of their therapy.  One of the artists, Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Warnick describes how art has helped him with the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sharing that “for me, the process of painting relaxes me and gives me a focal point so things aren’t out of […]

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Ft. Bragg Alliance Award

The Fort Bragg Regional Alliance has been awarded the Association of Defense Communities Community/State of the Year Award.  This award recognizes the work that the Alliance has done to create an infrastructure to meet the behavioral health needs of veterans living in an 11-county area surrounding Fort Bragg, North Carolina. To achieve this success, the Alliance collaborated with both military and civilian healthcare providers to identify gaps in healthcare and mental health services and developed a plan to close the […]

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VA Mental Health Summits

Between July and mid-September 2013, the Veterans Affairs Department will host mental health summits at all VA medical centers, including four in North Carolina. The summits will bring together mental health specialists, government officials, and veterans service organizations, with the goals of facilitating communication between these groups and improving mental health outreach and treatment for veterans. The North Carolina Focus on Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families will continue to report on this story and provide information about the North Carolina […]

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New Tools Help Providers Manage PTSD and Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) have released new clinical support tools to help healthcare providers manage posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid therapy for chronic pain in accordance with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense Department (DoD) clinical practice guidelines. The post-traumatic stress disorder tool is available at: http://www.healthquality.va.gov/Post_Traumatic_Stress_Disorder_PTSD.asp , and the opioid therapy for chronic pain tool is available at:  http://www.healthquality.va.gov/Chronic_Opioid_Therapy_COT.asp.

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VA Grant Announcement

The Department of Veterans Affairs is announcing the availability of funds for applications for assistance under the Rural Veterans Coordination pilot, to include funding priorities for those applicants who will assist veterans and their families who are transitioning from military to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. Applications must be received in accordance with this NOFA no later than 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time, on July 19, 2013. For more information and to obtain the grant application, click here.

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Carolina RailHawks Promotion

The Carolina RailHawks are partnering with Enable America on a promotion that will help support the non-profit organization’s Career Mentoring Day and Job Skills Workshop programs for those who are disabled, including veterans and wounded warriors. Each time soccer fans purchase tickets online for a RailHawk’s NASL home match through the remainder of the regular season, and use the promotion code ENABLE, a portion of those proceeds will go to Enable America. To learn more, click here.

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Fort Bragg wins ‘Red, White and You’ Contest

Of the 3500 hundred entries in the Red, White and You contest, the nomination letter from Army leader Jeff Wells stood out, winning the community an all-American celebration. For Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, and surrounding communities, this event featuring music, food, and fireworks, will provide the community an alternative to the usual Fourth of July event held on base that was cancelled due to sequester budget cuts. To read more, click here.

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Study Suggests Multiple Mild TBIs Increases Suicide Risk

Researchers from the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah found that soldiers who suffer more than one mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) face a significantly higher risk of suicide, and that the risk for suicidal behaviors and thoughts increased not only in the short term, but during the soldier’s entire life.  Study co-author Dr. Craig J. Bryan states, “up to now, no one has been able to say if multiple TBIs, which are common among combat […]

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