Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A column by Peter Sheehy

"But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know" -Alan Watts

A Stressful Failure
According to its own internal reports, the Department of Veterans Affairs is failing our soldiers and is unable to meet even its own internal standards of care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

McClatchy’s sobering study of PTSD care for troops shows that
“nearly a third of the agency's inpatient and other intensive PTSD units failed to meet at least one of the quality goals monitored by a VA health-research organization.”
The VA is also being scrutinized for understaffing and insufficient funding in mental health units. Though the VA has defended its track record with psychologically wounded vets, it removed its reports from its WWW site and thus McClatchy had to obtain its information through the Freedom of Information Act.

Paul Sullivan, a former VA official who now works for Veterans for Common Sense said that the surge of veterans needing is care is part of an "ominous trend” that if “continued will transform the VA's crisis into a full-blown catastrophe”.

For more on PTSD, click here

Shrinking the News is a column written by Peter Sheehy, who earned a PhD from the Department of History at the University of Virginia. His dissertation is on the cultural history of psychotherapy. Dr Sheehy teaches history at the Horace Mann School in New York City and is working on a book about the history of psychotherapy.

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