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Seeking out PTSD, TBI symptoms.

THROUGH mid-October Soldiers will receive information through a chain-teaching program that will help them and their families identify the symptoms of, and tell them how to seek treatment for, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

"We emphasize that every commander needs to be able to do an individual assessment of each Soldier," said Col. C. Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatry consultant to the Army's surgeon general.

All Soldiers in combat suffer stress, but most recover quickly. Those whose symptoms persist may have PTSD.

PTSD and mild TBI are medical and psychological conditions that can negatively affect a Soldier's personal life, professional abilities and health. Soldiers may be affected by only one or both conditions at the same time.

The chain-teaching program does not replace behavioral-health assessment tools already in effect. Rather, it provides command emphasis and education at unit and Family levels to reinforce the Army's commitment to provide the best health care possible.

The program equips Soldiers to recognize PTSD and mild TBI symptoms in others, as well as in themselves.

The training encourages Soldiers to realize their careers are endangered not when they seek help for their problems, but when they allow a mental-health condition to worsen without proper care.

"This is an attempt to shift the culture," Col. Ritchie said. "We know it will take time, but we need to act now."

--Army News Service
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Title Annotation:Army News: From the Army News Service and Other Sources
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
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