Working Together to Restore the Mental Well-Being of Our Veterans

With this month’s Journal, we publish the first in a very special series of CME-certified Commentaries that will focus on restoring the mental well-being of veterans. These offerings are the result of a unique collaboration between our company and the Aspen Institute, a well-known and respected international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.

In the broadest sense, this multipronged, multiyear effort is designed to create a public-private partnership between organizations such as ours from the private sector, nonprofit institutions, and government agencies.

Thus, the first Commentary in this series is derived from an Aspen Institute convening held this past spring to discuss the needs of returning combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental illness and to suggest community-based solutions. I had the honor of Chairing the convening, which brought together representatives from government agencies including Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services, along with health economists from the Rand Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and IBM; academicians; and representatives of community mental health programs.

At the end of the day-long meeting, the group emphasized the need for a national public relations effort to raise awareness among front-line providers about the mental health needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Journal is proud to begin this effort with the Commentary, “Caring for Returning Veterans: Meeting Mental Health Needs,” which begins on page 22 of this issue.

Throughout this year, we plan to publish additional Commentaries on topics including veterans and violence, suicide, addiction, and traumatic brain injury. These Commentaries are part of a much larger initiative that will focus on society’s response to the psychological needs of veterans and their families.

The Journal is proud to be part of this unique public-private partnership project to help restore personal well-being to our veterans and their families and smooth their transition from the battlefield to civilian life.

John S. Shelton, PhD

Publisher

© Copyright 2013 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

(doi:10.4088/JCP.12pn08324)