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DHS News September 2011  

pdf.gif September 2011 DHS Newsletter


OBH cosponsors conference in support of soldiers returning from deployment oversees

The DHS Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) is co-sponsoring a conference to help support returning veterans. The conference, called “Support for Returning Veterans: A Community Effort,” will be held Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum in Oakland.

The conference, which is intended to help care providers and the religious community better understand some of the behavioral health issues associated with returning soldiers reintegrating into the community, is free for attendees not requiring continuing education credits. Those individuals who wish to earn credits at the conference will need to pay a $25 registration fee.

Conference attendees will gain a better understanding of the challenges servicemen and servicewomen face when returning to their families and communities after deployment, as well as have the opportunity to discuss approaches that can help veterans and their families build resiliency. In addition, conference attendees will be able to examine the methods of collaboration that help to prepare providers and the religious community to meet the needs of returning military personnel.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. and features a series of veteran support-related workshops and panel discussions. For more information about featured topics, see the conference agenda below.

Conference Agenda

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00-9:30 a.m. Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance
Welcome/Introductions
Video - Journey to Normal: Snapshot Afghanistan 2011
 9:30-10:45 a.m. The Psychological Effects of War Since 9/11
Elspeth Ritchie, MD, District of Columbia Department of Health
 10:45-11:00 a.m. Break
 11:00-noon Issues Faced by Returning Military and their Families
Kerri Beckert, Military Child Education Coalition
Douglas Etter, Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Bruce Rabin, MD, UPMC Healthy Lifestyles
Tom Stokes, LTC Social Work Office, USAR
 12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch
 1:00-3:30 p.m.  Workshops
A. The Effects of Deployment on Children and Families
Kerri Beckert, Military Child Education Coalition

B. Understanding and Managing Stress for Better Mental and Physical Health
Bruce Rabin, MD, UPMC

C. Whispers of Peace and Echoes of War: The Unique Role of the Faith Community in Healing Wounded Souls
Douglas Etter, Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center

D. Combat Experience and the Meaning of Combat Trauma
Tom Stokes, LTC Social Work Office, USAR
Julie Hera DeStefano, Independent Producer
Roger Brooke, PhD, Duquesne University 


For more information about the “Support for Returning Veterans: A Community Effort” conference, contact Kimberly Hall at 412-244-1244 or kimberlyhall@comcast.net.


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