Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
New IU tool supports returning veterans
Indiana Prevention Resource Center creates search engine to meet ongoing needs of veterans and their families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Prevention Resource Center located in Indiana University's Research Park in Bloomington has recently created and unveiled its latest online search tool, the Veterans Resources Search Engine. This database was created in response to numerous expressions of concern and urgency by leaders in the prevention and treatment community regarding the need for further resources to address the needs of returning veterans.
"The IPRC has created a tool that provides access to a wide variety of resources available through the Internet to assist returning veterans, their families, their communities, and all who provide services for the veteran, his or her family and children," said Barbara Seitz de Martinez, deputy director for the IPRC.
The IPRC Veterans Resources Searchable Database, found at www.drugs.indiana.edu, is designed to speedily link people with resources, such as the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans. National, regional and Indiana specific resources are included. The database is searchable by subject, organization, audience, category and keyword.
Military personnel and their families face many difficulties and challenges upon their homecoming, as well as prior to and during deployment. For the soldier and his or her family, deployment means separation from loved ones, loss of companionship and everyday support. Families have to fill the void created by the deployment of their spouse, parent, child or sibling. Homecoming presents challenges of reintegration into family and community due to lingering stresses of military life, especially in war zones. The changes in family dynamics, employment and mental health issues can strain relationships and require patience and work to realign.
Studies show that high percentages of soldiers return with mental health issues and substance abuse dependence. Seitz de Martinez said individuals such as mental health professionals and social service agencies providing services to this target audience often are overburdened and in need of tools that can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in Indiana 4,199 returning veterans sought post conflict care after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan during 2008.
Transitions are by nature times of stress and of increased vulnerability to many kinds of problems, and this is especially true for military personnel and families during times of war and homecoming from a war zone.
"The face-to-face combat and high risk of injury associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the types of injuries sustained, have exacerbated this reality," Seitz de Martinez said.
She said the center plans to continue improving this tool and adding additional resources as staff become aware of them. Due to the urgent need, the center launched the IPRC Veterans Resources Searchable Database as quickly as possible. She said suggestions for additions and enhancements can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seitz de Martinez can be reached at 812-855-1237 and email@example.com.
The Indiana Prevention Resource Center is part of the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The center is located at 501 N. Morton St. Suite 110. For more information about the IPRC call 812-855-1237 or visit www.drugs.indiana.edu. The IPRC is funded by the Family and Social Services Administration through the division of Mental Health and Addiction.