Over the past year, I have shared a number of resources for “civilian” psychologists — those of you practicing clinically outside the Departments of Defense (DoD) or Veterans Affairs — to become more familiar with military culture and common issues facing military personnel, veterans, their families and their caregivers. Both DoD and VA themselves have terrific training opportunities you can find on their websites. In addition to VA and DoD trainings, the PsychArmor Institute is a wonderful nonprofit that also provides free online “education and support to all Americans who work with, live with or care for military service members, veterans and their families.”
Founded by Marjorie Morrison, PsychArmor was designed to help bridge the often-lamented military-civilian divide through free online education. PsychArmor’s staff work with subject matter experts to create and deliver self-paced online courses aimed at employers, caregivers, educators, volunteers/nonprofit staff, government entities and healthcare professionals. I was invited to sit on PsychArmor’s Healthcare Advisory Committee, along with a number of esteemed colleagues from psychology and other disciplines. The committee talks with PsychArmor’s clinical staff about creating or updating their courses for healthcare providers. These courses range in focus from military culture to clinical issues as they often present in military and veteran populations. I would recommend the following as some of PsychArmor’s most relevant courses for psychologists (you can get CE credit for courses marked with an asterisk).
- Healthcare Providers: 15 Things Veterans Want You to Know.*
- Veteran 101: Military Culture.
- S.A.V.E. — a suicide prevention course designed with and presented by psychologist and VA’s Deputy Director for Suicide Prevention Megan McCarthy, PhD.*
- Veteran 101: Military Families.
- Connecting with the VA.*
- Intimacy Issues with Military and Veteran Connected Couples.*
- Inner Conflict and Survivor’s Guilt.
- Military Sexual Trauma.*
- Suicide in the Military.*
- The Cost of Caring.*
- Pain as a Gatekeeper for Combat Trauma.
- The Brain and Combat Stress.
- TTBI in Veterans.*
This list also encompasses the courses you may choose from to be eligible for PsychArmor’s new “Veteran Ready Healthcare Provider Certificate.” Complete at least seven of 10 specific courses (available online) and then email PsychArmor to receive your certificate and digital badge.
PsychArmor has had incredible reach into the civilian community with its courses, and is planning more in-depth evaluations of outcomes in veteran patients.
About the author
Heather O’Beirne Kelly, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and APA’s first director of military and veterans Health policy. Watch this space for regular updates on issues ranging from protecting the VA’s integrated care system, to advocating for more attention to military sexual assault prevention, to encouraging more systematic training on evidence-based treatments.