Unique Way to Connect Veterans to Mental Health Services

By training bartenders at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) clubs to “identify veterans in trouble and direct them to mental health professionals”, researchers hope to help more struggling veterans. The theory behind the study is to engage the community and people who see veterans on a regular basis, rather than doctors who may only see their patients once a year.

About 55 percent of bartenders said their clients shared problems with them often, and another 15.5 percent said they “always” heard about veterans’ struggles with family, work, finances and other personal problems. Slightly more than 65 percent of bartenders ranked themselves as moderately able to identify signs of depression, and 42.8 percent said they were moderately familiar with symptoms of PTSD. Another 34 percent said they were highly familiar with depression symptoms, and 14 percent said they were well acquainted with PTSD symptoms.

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