December 2018
Spotlight
With this final 2018 issue of the Veterans Justice and Mental Health Newsletter, we wish you and your families a joyous and safe holiday season and a happy and healthy 2019! We are looking forward to bringing you more resources in the new year and hope you will continue to send us your contributions. See you next year!                                                                  
                  
Dr. Julie Baldwin
Associate Director of Research
Justice Programs Office, American University

Research
Christy Capone, Candice Presseau, Elizabeth Saunders, Erica Eaton, Jessica Hamblen, and Mark McGovern
This study examined the effects of integrating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment into treatment as usual among Iraq-Afghanistan veterans with co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Study participants added CBT and continued with their normal VA care (e.g., psychotherapy, medication management, and skills training) and were compared to those who only participated in treatment as usual. Standard care and the integrated CBT showed significant reductions in both PTSD and SUDs, but integrated CBT treatment was more effective in reducing the return of symptoms. The authors also discuss the challenges they faced in engaging and retaining treatment clients.

Andrea Finlay, Ingrid Binswanger, Christine Timko, Joel Rosenthal, Sean Clark, Jessica Blue-Howells, Kim McGuire, Hildi Hagedorn, Jessie Wong, James Van Campen, and Alex Harris
           The study examined a sample of more than 320,000 veterans who had been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD) by Veterans Health Administration centers across the nation. They found that male veterans recently or currently involved in the criminal justice system were more likely to receive pharmacotherapy for alcohol use than male veterans without this criminal justice history. Prescription rates were low overall. 

Craig Bryan, Feea Leifkar, David Rozek, AnnaBelle Bryan, and Mira Reynolds
           This small study examined the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy among 20 veterans previously diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD symptom severity and diagnoses were significantly reduced after treatment. PTSD symptom severity, PTSD diagnoses, and suicidal ideation showed significant reductions at the 6-month follow-up point. However, there was no significant change in depression symptom severity.

Colleen Judge-Golden, Sonya Borrero, Xinhua Zhao, Maria Mor, and Lisa Callegari
The authors conducted telephone surveys with a nationally-representative sample of more than 2,000 female veterans. The majority of the sample reported being diagnosed with a mental health condition (68 percent) or having at least one unintended pregnancy (57 percent). Regressions showed that female veterans with mental health disorders were more likely to have unintended pregnancies than female veterans who did not suffer from mental health concerns.

Elizabeth Karras, Cara Stokes, Sara Warfield, Heather Elder, Brady Stephens, and Robert Bossarte
           Telephone surveys were conducted with 809 middle-aged veterans to determine effective methods of suicide prevention via messaging. They found that more than 30 percent of this population thought individuals with mental health concerns were a danger to others and 24 percent stated they would not want anyone to know if they also suffered from a mental health disorder. Only 51 percent believed that seeking help for suicidal ideation would be easy for them.

Mark Alden Morgan, Matthew W. Logan, and Francis T. Cullen
           This study analyzed the prison experiences of a sample of 14,278 incarcerated veterans. In comparison to their civilian counterparts, veterans did not have a worse experience in prison and were more likely to obtain treatment while in prison. However, the higher rates of mental illness and suicidality among veterans mediated this effect. 
Practitioner Publications
National Institute of Corrections
           This interactive map illustrates every intercept for veterans in the criminal justice system, including Community Services (Crisis Care), Law Enforcement/Emergency Services, Initial Detention and Court Hearings, Jails/Courts, Re-Entry, and Community Services (Probation and Parole). Opportunities for intervention and diversion of veterans involved in the criminal justice system are listed for each intercept, as well as intercept-related resources.

Veterans Affairs
           This fact sheet outlines what veterans should do if they are experiencing or have experienced a health emergency. Information on what is and is not covered by the VA is provided, as well as differences between service-connected and non-service-connected care. This fact sheet is useful for both veterans and their caregivers, as it provides useful information in navigating the VA. 
Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
Hosted by BR McDonald
           Hosted by BR McDonald, an Army veteran, this podcast talks about artists, groups, and leaders who are making a difference in the veteran art community. BR McDonald tells the stories of veteran artists and encourages listeners to express themselves through a variety of mediums.

NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals
           This free webinar informs rural practitioners how to engage in effective screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) practices. The presentation is aimed at providing education and resources for addiction counselors and healthcare providers in rural settings, encouraging providers to engage clients effectively.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
           As the number of opioid overdoses in America rises, practitioners and clinicians must understand the grief suffered by those left behind. This webinar focuses on describing the unique challenges facing this grieving population and what organizations and institutions can do to help.
In the News
Events Calendar
January Events

January 3-5: Orlando, FL: NATCON 2019 (Student Veterans of America)
January 9 – 11 – Baudette, MN: Lake of the Woods Ice Fishing Trip (DAV of Minnesota)
January 10 – Tampa, FL: Tampa Veterans Job Fair
January 10 – San Antonio, TX: San Antonio Veterans Job Fair
January 11 – 13 – Corpus Christi, TX: DAV District 20 Conference & DAVA School of Instruction
January 24 – Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma City Veterans Job Fair

As of this issue’s dissemination, no dates for 2019 are listed, but we’ve included the link in case updates are made. 

Contribute to the Next Issue
To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email ndcrc@american.edu with "Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter” in the subject line.
Our mission is to inform policy, practice, and scholarship through the distribution of current veterans treatment court-related resources.   
The  National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center , funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and operated by the Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University, strives to provide practitioners and professionals working in the drug court field with current resources and upcoming events.  Please email  ndcrc@american.edu  with any inquiries.
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