Free Support Consultations for Military Veterans and Their Families

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CIGNA Behavioral Health to Offer Free Support Consultations for Veterans and Their Families

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn– In the next six months, thousands of American men and women will return home from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan as their tours of duty end. To assist in their transition, CIGNA Behavioral Health (CBH) announced today that its trained behavioral health and employee assistance professionals will offer their assistance without charge via a toll-free “Returning Veterans Support Line” to all veterans during Veteran’s Awareness Week, which is Nov. 6-10.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in March 2006 which concluded that nearly one of every five service members (19 percent) returning from Iraq reported mental health problems, most often associated with combat experiences(1). Further, the study showed that 35 percent of Iraq war veterans used mental health services in the year following their return to the United States(2).

“When my son-in-law came back from Iraq, even a paper bag in the street would startle him. He felt naked without a gun,” said Cindy Graves whose son and son-in-law both served in Iraq. “A lot of people aren’t aware of the resources available. It will make an impact for people by just letting them know there’s someone available to help.”   (continued…)

     

“Our veterans need to hear ‘Welcome Home — thank you for your service to your country'”, says CBH senior vice president Jodi Aronson Prohofsky, PhD. “We feel this is a way our business can help re-integrate our nation’s soldiers back into daily life, whether that is at civilian or state-side military jobs.”

Aronson Prohofsky said the mental health of returning military personnel – and their productivity – should be a high priority for HR and EAP professionals. She said, “The impact will likely be stunning, and civilian employers as well as the military will need to use available resources to help these men and women transition back into life in the United States, whether as a civilian or as a professional member of the military.”

About CIGNA Behavioral Health

EDITOR’S NOTE: For interviews with Dr. Jodi Aronson Prohofsky, about ways both employers and employees can help with the behavioral health needs of returning veterans, media may call Heather Schwartz at 612-337-0087.

1. Journal of the American Medical Association, March 1, 2006, Vol. 295, No. 9, page 1023, “Mental Health Problems, Use of Mental Health Services, and Attrition from Military

2. Service After Returning From Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan” by Charles Hoge, MD, Jennifer Auchterlonie, MS and Charles Milliken, MD.


http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,11285.shtml

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