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VA National initiatives and Local Programs That Address Education and Support for Families of Returning Veterans
VA National initiatives and Local Programs That Ad

 
Our Price: $20.00
By Randall B. Williamson (au)
Year: 2008
Pages: 30
Binding Paperback

Product Code: 1437911579

Description
 
As the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq--known as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), respectively--have progressed, increasing numbers of OEF/OIF servicemembers have transitioned to veteran status and have begun receiving care from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA data show that as of March 2008, over 868,000 OEF/OIF servicemembers, including National Guard and Reserve members, had left active duty and become eligible for VA health care, and over 340,000--about 40%--had accessed VA health care services. Returning OEF/OIF veterans may have a range of health care needs, such as treatment for mental health conditions like post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other injuries, or counseling to address difficulties readjusting from wartime military service to civilian life. Family members can play an important role in helping and supporting OEF/OIF veterans. For ex., family members may notice symptoms the veteran has, such as anxiety or difficulty sleeping, and encourage the veteran to seek care. They may also help the veteran identify health care services and ensure that the veteran receives needed services. Family members may also provide emotional support--such as encouragement and reassurance--to the veteran. For ex., they can support the veteran's efforts to reach rehabilitation goals by providing encouragement and helping the veteran stay motivated to participate in rehabilitation therapy. To help the veteran, family members may need a range of education and support from VA. They may need information about symptoms of mental or physical conditions, how those conditions can affect the veteran and the veteran's family, and the health care resources and treatment options that are available. They may also need information on potential readjustment difficulties that the returning veteran may face, as well as ways in which family members can help and support the veteran. At the same time, family members may experience difficulties--such as stress, uncertainty, or strained relationships--due to the veteran's medical conditions or readjustment difficulties. According to VA officials, educated and supportive family members can help facilitate a veteran's readjustment and recovery. Congress asked uGAO to provide information on the education and support available from VA for families of OEF/OIF veterans. In this report, GAO describes selected national initiatives and local programs VA has in place that address education and support for families of OEF/OIF veterans who are receiving VA health care. Includes GAO recommendations. Illus.

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