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Linking Returning Veterans in Rural Community Colleges to Mental Health Care

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Technical Report,10 Dec 2010,09 Jun 2015

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University of Arkansas Little Rock United States

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This study collected survey data and rich qualitative information on student veterans mental health, help-seeking behavior, and attitudes regarding mental health treatment. Ultimately, this survey and qualitative data will inform the development of a new screening and linkage to care intervention that is feasible in the community college setting and acceptable to this student veteran population and their families. Analyses from the survey indicate that psychiatric distress is prevalent in the sample of veterans 32 depression, 23 generalized anxiety, 26 PTSD, 44 with any MH disorder, and 36 binge drinking. Compared to a civilian sample from the same schools, the veterans have significantly higher prevalence of MH disorders in all categories except generalized anxiety. The rates being reported for positive screens are high, thereby demonstrated a need to for increased recognition and intervention in the population. The Veterans in the in-depth interviews recommended linkage and or services interventions that are acceptable to them, many of which are consistent with current interventions in VA, while some are completely novel. Investigators are exploring these intervention ideas further, creating intervention plans in partnership with student Veterans and college representatives, and writing grant applications to allow us to develop and pilot test them.

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