ar06 - 2006 THE 17TH NATIONAL ANNUAL SHARING REPORT...

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20 06 1 7 T H A N N U A L R E P O R T / F I S C A L Y E A R 2 0 0 6 S H A R I N G E X P E R T I S E T H R O U G H V A A N D B E Y O N D
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Cover Photos (left to right): DoD photo by Petty Offi cer 2nd Class Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy; Veterans Day at Bonham 2006 by Nancy Gray from VA North Texas Veterans Health Care System; U.S. Army photo by Spc. Loni Kingston; U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brian M. Henner
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Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Washington, DC 20420 Message from the Under Secretary for Health: To serve and honor the men and women returning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as veterans from prior eras, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is pleased to make the 2006 Annual Report from the VA National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) available to the public. Founded in 1989, the National Center is the centerpiece of the VHA’s programs devoted to PTSD. Other components that conduct research include our Mental Illness ResearchEducation and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs), three new Centers of Excellence, and an extensive number of projects supported by our Offi ce of Research and Development (ORD). Our program includes a spectrum of specialized services for PTSD in each of our 155 VA Medical Centers, readjustment counseling services in our 207 Vet Centers and outreach into the community. Mental Health Services in VHA include a major focus on PTSD because it can be a serious disorder resulting directly from the extreme stress that can occur in combat. It is not the only stress- related disorder that occurs in veterans. Depression, for example, occurs with a comparable frequency, and problem-drinking can occur when men and women try to treat their own symptoms with alcohol. However, PTSD affects veterans disproportionately. Therefore, the VA has a responsibility to set the standard for developing knowledge about this condition, and making it available, not just to veterans, but also to others those who survive disasters, natural or man-made, or other exceptional stressors in civilian life. One way the National Center reaches VA’s diverse audience groups is through their website, www.ncptsd. va.gov. The website provides veterans and the general public with current, accurate, accessible information on PTSD and traumatic stress. Researchers and clinicians are kept up to date on the latest fi ndings through links to the Center’s bibliographic database on traumatic stress (PILOTS) and to the Center’s other published guides on the latest scientifi c literature. I am especially enthusiastic about the Center’s utilization of its website for rapid dissemination of the Iraq War Clinician Guide to clinicians serving OIF/OEF veterans, the Psychological First Aid Manual for use following Hurricane Katrina, and PTSD 101, a web-based PTSD training curriculum.
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