This is a busy week. It’s my birthday and in celebration of my birthday, we get to vote for the first female President of the United States. It is also Veteran’s Day this week. I think it’s really important that we take the time to recognize and appreciate our Veteran’s. We’ve been at war for the past 15 years. Fifteen. That’s a sobering thought. It’s the soldiers who are paying the price and for soldiers and vets with PTSD, the invisible scars hurt the most.
Now for the startling facts. 20 Veterans and 1 active duty soldier commit suicide every day. Every day. In 2014, 65% of all Veteran suicides were 50 years or older. The risk of suicide is 21% higher in Veterans than in civilian adults, but Veterans are only 7.3% of the population.
Last year, I focused on the yoga programs that are being used to help our vets. In Help Those Still Suffering, I wrote about programs like Mindful Yoga Therapy and Connected Warriors which are two yoga-based programs aimed at helping our vets and soldiers. But this year, I want to focus on something different, something that’s right up the alley of a geeky tech chick. Apps!
Yes, There’s An App For That
PTSD Coach is an app that was created by the VA and the Department of Defense. It’s not meant to replace medical treatment, but it does have a self-assessment, support information and can assist with relaxation and has other self-help tools. There is also PTSD Family Coach for family members and PTSD Coach apps for Canada and Australia. Both the Coach and Family Coach apps are available on iTunes for Apple and Google Play for Android.
CBT-i Coach is an app that was created by the VA in conjunction with Stanford School of Medicine and the DOD. CBT-i stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and should be used in conjunction with a health provider, although it can be used on its own. It’s not intended to replace therapy but it teaches users about sleep, how to develop positive sleep routines and creating positive sleep environments. This app is also available on both iTunes for Apple and Google Play for Android.
There is also CPT Coach (Cognitive Processing Therapy) and PE Coach (Prolonged Exposure Therapy.) Both of these apps should be used in conjunction with mental health professionals. They are not self-help tools.
Concussion Coach was designed for Veterans with a TBI. There is a self-assessment for symptoms, tools to build resilience and manage symptoms and community resources. This app was created by the National Center for PTSD in conjunction with the VA and the DOD. It can be found on both iTunes for Apple and Google Play for Android devices.
You can go to the VA’s App page to find out more about other apps that were made specifically for our Veterans.
Remember that November 11th is Veteran’s Day. It falls on a Friday this year. If you see a Vet, thank a Vet. They’ve sacrificed more than we can understand.