North Carolina News

Behavioral Health Services Affected by Sequestration

Civilian furloughs due to budget cuts required by sequestration will affect the availability and access to Army behavioral health care states Colonel Rebecca Porter, Chief of Army Behavioral Healthcare. Currently, civilians make up about 60% of Army medical providers, which includes more than half of the 4,500 behavioral health providers. Colonel Porter stated that the Army is looking at a variety of ways to address this problem, including requesting exemptions for some civilian providers, and utilizing active duty medical providers […]

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Ft. Bragg Chosen

The Department of Defense (DoD) has chosen Fort Bragg as one of thirteen sites for the Healthy Base Initiative pilot.  This one-year pilot project aims to increase the health and wellness of servicemembers, civilians, and their family members, targeting a number of health issues including nutrition, weight, and tobacco use. Starting in April, each installation will be assessed on a number of factors, including healthy commissary offerings, ease of exercising, and choices for healthy meals. Outcome information from the pilot […]

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Mild TBI, PTSD, and Suicide

New research from the Pentagon’s brain repository research center finds that mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) may be linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide. Dan Perl, M.D., neuropathologist and lead investigator states, “What these papers say to me is that there is something to TBI, and particularly military TBI, producing specific abnormalities in the brain that lead to more vulnerability to PTSD and to suicide.” This research is consistent with research by the National Center for Veterans Studies, […]

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“Culture of Seeking Help” Attributed to Reduction in Suicides

A series of programs and initiatives designed to reduce suicides is showing success at Fort Bliss, and may provide a promising model to initiate across military branches. Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, Fort Bliss commander, attributes a 30% drop in suicides to a comprehensive approach that focuses on suicide prevention, risk reduction, and resilience, creating what he calls a “culture of seeking help.” This approach began in 2010 with the launch of the “No Preventable Soldier Deaths” campaign, an […]

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License Plate Benefits NC

On March 1, 2013, the North Carolina Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters released a new specialty license plate titled, “In God We Trust.”  Two-thirds of the sales proceeds from the new plate will go to The Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to Army and Air Guard families coping with unusual or unpreventable hardships. Read more…

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Mild TBI and Brain Abnormalities

In a recent study of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mild traumatic brain injury found measureable abnormalities in the white matter of their brains.  Researcher, and senior study author Ricardo Jorge, M.D., University of Iowa professor of psychiatry, states, “In the military population we studied, patients with TBI have more alterations, sometimes called ‘potholes,’ in the white matter of their brains than patients without a history of TBI,”  and that “The more severe the injury, the more […]

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PTSD and TBI Biomarkers

A new five-year study at New York University’s medical school has researchers looking for  biological signals, known as biomarkers, that could provide reliable, objective evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Researchers hope to recruit 1500 participants, with the ultimate goal developing inexpensive tests for PTSD and TBI. A similar study, which is seeking to identify PTSD biomarkers, is underway at Fort Bragg. Experts state that the lack of reliable markers for PTSD and mild TBI […]

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Two NAMI Awards

On February 19, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) bestowed two statewide awards to individuals and agencies in Cumberland County.  One award went to Major John McRainey, Chief Jailer of the Cumberland County Detention Center; he was named Outstanding Law Enforcement Executive of the Year for his work in organizing and supporting crisis intervention team training sessions for law enforcement officers, who are exposed to people in the local community with various mental health challenges. The other award, Outstanding […]

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NC to Host Valor Games

Bridge to Sports, a Durham-based non-profit, announced that one of the four national adaptive sports competitions for wounded and injured veterans and active duty service members will be hosted by the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and North Carolina State University on May 21-23.  The event is free to the public, and athletes can visit here to register. Read more…

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Army Report

A new Army report names Fort Bragg as one of 21 bases that may potentially lose thousands of jobs should realignment occur. Fort Bragg currently employs 14,000 civilian employees.  The workforce has been aware of the possible cuts since September when they were informed by leadership. Read more…

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