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Growing Public Health Crisis of Domestic Violence and Suicides by Returning Veterans

Forum to Explore Solutions Presented by The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

WEST ROXBURY, Mass., June 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --"We are greatly concerned in this state about the 'invisible wounds of war' - the mental health of our returning veterans, the stress, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - which raise the specter of rising levels of domestic violence and suicide. We need to begin focusing on their recuperation as well as building awareness and support programs with their families about what to expect when the veterans return," says Senator Richard T. Moore, State Senator and Chairman of the Massachusetts Health Care Financing Committee.

Moore is one of three experts offering guidance at a free public forum exploring solutions to an impending mental health crisis among returning veterans.

-- WHAT: "Returning War Veterans: Meeting Health Needs of Veterans, Families and Communities"

-- WHEN: Friday, June 13, 2008, 2:30 pm. to 5 pm

-- WHERE: Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, (MSPP), 221 Rivermoor Street, West Roxbury, MA

Joining Moore will be Dr. Jaine Darwin, Co-Chairman of the SOFAR Project (Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists), who will speak of essential outreach efforts to veterans, families and community, and Dr. Jonathan Shay, Staff Psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Boston and author of "Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming."

A recent RAND Corporation report stated that 300,000 veterans have mental health problems and 320,000 have brain injuries and that nearly 50 percent of those in need do not seek mental health services. The reasons: career stigma, worry about medication side effects and the belief that family and friends could help them instead.

Each day 18 veterans commit suicide. And since last August, a Department of Veterans Affairs hotline has made more than 720 suicide rescues and responded to more than 37,200 calls for help.

In February, a community in Port Charlotte, Florida searched for weeks for 24-year-old Eric Hall, a missing veteran who suffered Iraq combat flashbacks. Hall's body was later found in a hillside pipeline.

Dr. David Satin, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at HMSS and Chairman of the Erich Lindemann Memorial Lecture Committee at MSPP will moderate.

The forum is 31st annual program dedicated to the legacy of the late Dr. Erich Lindemann.

SOURCE Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
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