IDMH coordinates military sensitivity training for professional and aspiring care providers

20150910-1_IDMH-Military-Training_37The Institute of Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at SUNY New Paltz collaborated with Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) to sponsor an all-day military sensitivity training program on campus this month.

The SBHP training draws on course content created by the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) in partnership with Purdue University. The Sept. 10 training held at New Paltz brought lessons in supporting and treating the needs of veterans and military service members to about 50 regional clinicians and care providers.

“It is critically important that our veterans, service members and their families not only get prompt treatment when needed, but that it be the most competent care from the best trained professionals,” said James Halpern, professor of psychology and director of the IDMH. “We are proud to be partnering with Purdue University and the Center for Deployment Psychology and especially honored to be working closely with our New York State National Guard to bring this training to New Paltz.”

The Tier One training was presented by Karla Vermeulen, deputy director of the IDMH and assistant professor of psychology, and Major Thomas A. Duci, a licensed clinical social worker who has been deployed in the Middle East as a Brigade Officer in charge of Behavioral Health Services.

The day-long session included panel discussions, group activities and Q&As. Its primary goal is to ensure that clinicians working with service members have a general awareness of military culture and what military personnel and their families experience, both during deployments and upon return to civilian life.

“I thought the STAR training provided an excellent overview of our military culture to the clinicians that attended the training,” said Jason Gilliland, coordinator of Veteran and Military Services for the College. “Our panelists did an outstanding job reinforcing the training by articulating their experiences to the audience. In sum, I thought our IDMH put together a quality workshop.”

A second SBHP training coordinated by the IDMH will be held in New York City on Sept. 16. Other services offered by the SBHP include a directory of trained professionals designed for ease of use by veterans and service members seeking care and counsel.

More information about the Institute for Disaster Mental Health, the SUNY New Paltz Office of Veteran and Military Services and Star Behavioral Health Providers is available online.