From Combat to Campus: Meeting the Needs of Student Veterans
More than two million returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are eligible for generous college tuition benefits as a result of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Yet most colleges are unprepared for the dramatic increase in student veterans and their unique experiences and challenges. The Rand Corporation has estimated that 20% of returning veterans experience post traumatic stress or severe depression. An estimated 19% have had a traumatic brain injury. A 2011 study by the Student Veterans Association found that 46% of student veterans had contemplated suicide, compared with 6% of non military students.
Helping our young veterans successfully make the transition from combat to campus, and creating a community of support on campus, is essential to sustaining and building resilience, health, and academic success among veterans. The effort requires campus-wide awareness and commitment. On Tuesday, January 24 we held a free webinar about veterans on the college campus.
This webinar helped participants:
- Understand the basics of military culture, the veteran’s reluctance to seek care, and the unique experiences and leadership student veterans bring to their educational communities;
- Understand reintegration challenges of the student veterans;
- Recognize typical signs of combat stress, PTSD and TBI among student vets and how to adapt curriculum and classrooms to accommodate needs;
- Understand what college health services need to know.
Who should attend
This webinar will provide crucial information to university and college behavioral health professionals, college health care providers, faculty, residential staff, and administrators who are interested in getting a better understanding of the needs of student veterans, and how they can support our returning troops in their transition home.
For those who were unable to attend, below is a recording of the webinar.
About the Speakers
Kathy Clair-Hayes, MSW, MA, LICSW, Director Family Outreach, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. Kathy Clair-Hayes has been a clinical social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital for more than 16 years. She has a special interest in working with families who are facing life challenges. Clair-Hayes spends her time talking to families about how deployment related stress impacts entire families. She also coaches, guides and helps families talk about how a warrior’s PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects the family and how to start conversations to bring that warrior to care. Kathy graduated from Georgetown University and earned a joint masters degree in social work and pastoral ministry from Boston College.
Roger Knight, Director of Veteran Outreach. Roger Knight graduated from Norwich University and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2003 as a Special Forces Recruit. After earning his Green Beret he was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, NC. While on a Special Forces ODA, he served as the Weapons Specialist and later as the Intelligence Specialist. He deployed multiple times to countries in South America, and twice to Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star two times for meritorious service in combat. Roger was Honorably Discharged from active duty in 2010. He is Special Forces and Airborne qualified. During his seven years of active service he was awarded the Bronze Star (w/ Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/ two campaign stars), the NATO medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Special Forces Tab, and the Parachutists Badge.
About the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. Founded in 2009, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program provides clinical care and support services to service members, veterans and families affected by combat stress, deployment stress, or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); education to clinicians and the community about the “invisible wounds of war;” and research in the understanding and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and TBI. The Home Base Program is a philanthropic partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital. For more information, visit www.homebaseprogram.org.
*Any information or resources provided during the webinar are for general information and educational purposes only.