Thursday, September 17, 2009

Helping the vets

Here's an announcement of a wonderful program between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital. Program director John Parrish also leads the 11-member multi-institutional research program called CIMIT, which has a division focused on PTSD that will be integrated into this new joint venture.

4 comments:

Peter Slavin said...

Paul,
Thanks for your important help in making this program possible.
Peter Slavin
President, MGH

Anonymous said...

Paul,

I echo Peter's comments....Without your leadership and vision this program would not have been possible. On behalf of the entire Boston Red Sox organization, thank you.

Sam Kennedy
Boston Red Sox

Diane England, Ph.D. said...

Great to read about all that you and others in the Boston area are doing to help veterans--that could become models for programs implemented nationwide with other sports teams and medical facilities. As a clinical social worker and former outreach manager with the military in Europe as well as a self-help author of the recently released “The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy,” I’ve been concerned about warriors wounded by PTSD failing to seek the help they need early on because of the stigma the military has historically placed on mental health issues, the concerns these members have about looking weak, letting down their buddies in uniform, or losing their careers after a diagnosis of PTSD. Having revered sports figures promoting the message that help-seeking behavior is a sign of strength versus weakness as well as others that need to be delivered—making treatment of PTSD seem as benign as seeking it for heart disease, for instance—will have much more impact than when mental health professionals such as myself do it. Nonetheless, we all need to work together and present unified messages which are life-saving and life-preserving. With sports figures out front in the lead doing this, perhaps other communities will follow the fine example you’ve set in Boston.

scrabb said...

Paul:

On behalf of a grateful military community, thanks to you and to all who are part of this initiative.

I am the spouse an active duty USMC infantry officer. While he has proudly served for 19+ years, I have only been "on the job" with him for 14 through our courtship and marriage. The last 5 years have certainly been the most challenging personally and professionally for us as more of our friends, fellow servicemen and servicewomen, officer and enlisted, junior and senior, return home wearing the stress of combat on their sleeves as they step off the bus. For some of those suffering, we have seen wonderful triumphs. For others we have experienced the most horrific and tragic of endings firsthand.

What was once a taboo subject, is now being socialized forcefully throughout the Corps - to those who serve, to the families that serve alongside them, and in communities with large populations of service members.

We still have a long way to go, but programs like yours in Boston bring us one community closer to making critical services accessible and the discovery and exchange of clinical best practices possible.

Thank you Red Sox, for your visit to Walter Reed, and for translating that experience into action. Thank you to the healthcare community of Boston, and MGH in particular, for your compassionate commitment to our military family.