University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
STRONG STAR Training Initiative
Service Area: National
Goal: Provide training and consultation in cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure, and written exposure therapy to 140 veteran-serving community mental health providers to increase their capacity to meet the mental health needs of the veterans they serve
Estimates indicate that as many as 20 percent of post-9/11 veterans develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after deployment to a combat zone. A recent study found that lifetime prevalence of PTSD among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans may be as high as 29 percent. Many veterans cannot access VA facilities or prefer to seek care outside VA. Veterans seeking care in their communities face a shortage of providers trained in military culture and evidence-based treatments for PTSD. The STRONG STAR Training Initiative improves the mental health of veterans with PTSD by training veteran-serving community mental health providers across the nation in evidence-based treatments (EBT) for PTSD and providing ongoing individual and organizational consultation. This BWF investment will support trainings in cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE), as well as the first-ever STRONG STAR training in written exposure therapy (WET). In clinical trials, WET has been shown to be highly effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression and has also seen a relatively low dropout rate compared to other EBT for PTSD. However, WET training opportunities for mental healthcare providers are still limited. Overall, this investment will provide training and consultation in CPT, PE, and WET to 140 veteran-serving community mental health providers to increase their capacity to meet the mental health needs of the veterans they serve.