Presentation Title

Mental Health, Wellness and Learning Programs for Veterans within a Personal Health Network (PHN)

Domain

Learning Health System

Type

Case Study or Comparative Case Study

Theme

effectiveness; population; operations; quality

Start Date

7-6-2014 1:15 PM

End Date

7-6-2014 2:45 PM

Structured Abstract

Introduction

Health and wellness care services for Veterans struggling with the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life must address the marked changes in self that occurs during their military services and the loss of their trusted group of buddies, united by common experiences and military values, that was so key to their well-being throughout their military careers. Further, when Veterans seek help for their psychological difficulties other barriers to care, e.g., time, distance, and the perceived stigma of seeking mental health services, must be overcome.

Method

Next Mission is an education-based collaborative health and wellness program that combines college level courses, professional mental health services, and online peer support communities. Next Mission provides returning Veterans with the information, skills, and support necessary to recognize, understand, and overcome the effects of traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the challenges that they and their loved ones face upon their return home.

In person Next Mission courses were offered to Veterans attending City College of San Francisco for two consecutive semesters in 2012. The first online course was offered to Veterans across the country (and to active duty military in Iraq and Afghanistan) in fall 2013. Student feedback was tracked to determine program efficacy, and to guide the development of additional courses. Student writing samples demonstrated a measurable shift from participants expressing primarily negative emotions to primarily positive emotions. All students reported that the course met their goals and they would strongly recommend it to fellow Veterans. As stated by one Veteran, “In telling my story, I found my inner strength.”

Innovation

Next Mission is delivered on a new health and wellness platform that supports the operation of a personal health network (PHN) around each Veteran, providing capabilities that are critical to managing the complex and complicated activities involved in care coordination in a patient-centered manner, while rigorously addressing privacy and security requirements.

Tiatros enables the Next Mission program to create social online communities of Veterans, empowering Veterans to help each other in obtaining their health and wellness goals.

Lessons Learned

The innovative approach of Next Mission eliminates the stigma associated with mental health care, enhances psychological resilience, and facilitates post-traumatic growth, while leveraging military values. It also provides a “bridge to treatment” by providing Veterans with broad opportunities for further clinical mental health treatment. The focused outreach and engagement available through Next Mission’s course work and group support will help participants end the cycles of self-harm, substance abuse, and domestic violence by healing the fundamental, emotional wounds of war. Next Mission also builds a support network, including mentoring, to create the social ‘scaffolding’ necessary for Veterans to successfully complete college, sustain employment, and successfully transition into the civilian world.

Call to Action

Tiatros’ unique, infinitely scalable information technology capabilities can be leveraged by clinicians to coordinate and deliver effective health and wellness services to far more Veterans, who may be in remote and underserved geographic locations, while greatly reducing the provision costs of such health and wellness care services.

Acknowledgements

The Next Mission program is administratively housed within the Young Adult & Family Center at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (the “YAFC”) under the direction of Kim P. Norman MD. Generous funding for the Next Mission program is provided by the BristolMyers Squibb Foundation. The Tiatros health and wellness platform is commercially available from Tiatros Inc., San Francisco. Tiatros Inc. is a Johnson & Johnson Innovation partner located at QB3@953 on the UCSF at Mission Bay campus.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Jun 7th, 1:15 PM Jun 7th, 2:45 PM

Mental Health, Wellness and Learning Programs for Veterans within a Personal Health Network (PHN)

Introduction

Health and wellness care services for Veterans struggling with the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life must address the marked changes in self that occurs during their military services and the loss of their trusted group of buddies, united by common experiences and military values, that was so key to their well-being throughout their military careers. Further, when Veterans seek help for their psychological difficulties other barriers to care, e.g., time, distance, and the perceived stigma of seeking mental health services, must be overcome.

Method

Next Mission is an education-based collaborative health and wellness program that combines college level courses, professional mental health services, and online peer support communities. Next Mission provides returning Veterans with the information, skills, and support necessary to recognize, understand, and overcome the effects of traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the challenges that they and their loved ones face upon their return home.

In person Next Mission courses were offered to Veterans attending City College of San Francisco for two consecutive semesters in 2012. The first online course was offered to Veterans across the country (and to active duty military in Iraq and Afghanistan) in fall 2013. Student feedback was tracked to determine program efficacy, and to guide the development of additional courses. Student writing samples demonstrated a measurable shift from participants expressing primarily negative emotions to primarily positive emotions. All students reported that the course met their goals and they would strongly recommend it to fellow Veterans. As stated by one Veteran, “In telling my story, I found my inner strength.”

Innovation

Next Mission is delivered on a new health and wellness platform that supports the operation of a personal health network (PHN) around each Veteran, providing capabilities that are critical to managing the complex and complicated activities involved in care coordination in a patient-centered manner, while rigorously addressing privacy and security requirements.

Tiatros enables the Next Mission program to create social online communities of Veterans, empowering Veterans to help each other in obtaining their health and wellness goals.

Lessons Learned

The innovative approach of Next Mission eliminates the stigma associated with mental health care, enhances psychological resilience, and facilitates post-traumatic growth, while leveraging military values. It also provides a “bridge to treatment” by providing Veterans with broad opportunities for further clinical mental health treatment. The focused outreach and engagement available through Next Mission’s course work and group support will help participants end the cycles of self-harm, substance abuse, and domestic violence by healing the fundamental, emotional wounds of war. Next Mission also builds a support network, including mentoring, to create the social ‘scaffolding’ necessary for Veterans to successfully complete college, sustain employment, and successfully transition into the civilian world.

Call to Action

Tiatros’ unique, infinitely scalable information technology capabilities can be leveraged by clinicians to coordinate and deliver effective health and wellness services to far more Veterans, who may be in remote and underserved geographic locations, while greatly reducing the provision costs of such health and wellness care services.