County Making Major Effort To Assist Service Members Returning From Deployment Transition Back Into Their Communities

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– As the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, waves of service members from the County of San Bernardino are being reunited with their loved ones. But the joy can be short lived once the realities of readjustment into everyday life begin to sink in.

The Departments of Behavioral Health and Veterans Affairs are partnering with ARMY OneSource, an online site for veterans, service members and their families to access important, credible and up-to-date information in a single location, on a campaign to provide free, online continuing education training to behavioral health service providers and other interested community organizations and members. The objective of the training is to raise the awareness of civilian behavioral health professionals about military culture and combat stress.

“Our veterans, service members and their families have made huge sacrifices in service to their country. I strongly support the continued collaboration between the county departments and encourage those in the community who work with veterans, service members and their families to participate in this important and timely training in order to help treat the invisible wounds of war,” stated Bill Moseley, Director of County of San Bernardino Veterans Affairs.

Four courses developed by the Center for Deployment Psychology will be offered beginning June 4 through September 30. The courses cover military culture, the impact of combat stress and deployment on children and families and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Beginning June 6, participants will receive a series of emails, which provide information about the challenges facing our military and easy access to these online courses. The campaign will also be promoted through Twitter and Facebook.

CaSonya Thomas, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health further stated, “The training will generate community awareness regarding the unique needs of military service members and their families. It is also a vessel through which participating individuals can help reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental health and substance abuse issues, and promote the Countywide Vision of improving the overall wellness of those we serve.”

The online training is FREE and nationally accredited. If you are a behavioral health service provider or other interested community member please sign up for this important training opportunity and help bring our local heroes the rest of the way home.

For additional information, please contact Michelle Dusick at (909) 252-4046.

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