The Center for Public Policy & Social Research (CPPSR) have released Connecticut Veterans Needs Assessment: The OEF/OIF Project Final Report.
Posted 03/25/2009 04:41PM

The Center for Public Policy & Social Research (CPPSR) at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) recently released the results of a needs assessment of Connecticut veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (Click here for a full report, or see link to the full report at CPPSR’s website http://www.ccsu.edu/cppsr). This study, authorized by DVA Commissioner Linda Spoonster Schwartz, explored the salient medical, psychosocial and economic needs of these veterans, as well as the existing barriers veterans face in meeting those needs. 

 

The study integrated data from meetings with veterans’ service providers, focus groups with veterans, and a survey mailed to 2,050 veterans. Some of the key findings include:

 

·         Almost 22% screened positive for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

·         Nearly 20% of veterans reported difficulty in relating to their civilian friends.

·         Over 10% of the veterans reported difficulty in connecting emotionally with family members.

·         Veterans in most need of support are the least likely to seek it out.  This reflected either distrust of the VA establishment or concerns about being stigmatized or de-normalized by seeking mental health treatment. These veterans are at particular risk of slipping into a downward spiral of marital and family problems, employment problems, substance abuse and problems with the law. 

Among the primary recommendations are:

·         Initiate a public awareness campaign to inform and educate, targeting the veterans and their families, the general public and non-military caregivers.

·         Develop an early identification and outreach system.

·         Create an integrated resiliency-based continuum of mental health care that emphasizes natural community supports.

 

It is probable that many of the critical and chronic, long-term problems facing returning veterans in Connecticut are prevalent in every state. 

 

CPPSR’s researchers and staff are ready to work with your state by using our diagnostic tools and expertise to help you determine the needs of your returning veterans, profile returning veterans most at-risk, and develop short and long-term public policy recommendations to allow for optimal readjustment to civilian life.

 

CPPSR provides expert assistance to state governments, municipalities, community and nonprofit organizations through its full-time staff, expert faculty, motivated students and the university’s many programmatic resources. CPPSR has extensive experience conducting needs assessment and opinion analysis surveys, program planning and evaluation, GIS mapping, the training, education and professional development for government officials, and more. Please visit our website at:  http://www.ccsu.edu/cppsr or contact CPPSR Associate Director Eileen Hurst at hursteim@ccsu.edu.

 

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