Ft. Campbell Opens Behavioral Health Clinics To Fight PTSD - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Ft. Campbell Opens Behavioral Health Clinics To Fight PTSD

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by Adam Ghassemi

FT. CAMPBELL, Ky.  - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be one of war's ugly side effects. Fort Campbell decided to change things on post to make the transition for soldiers easier.

There is no doubt war can change soldiers. The bonds between people side-by-side on the battlefield can be unbreakable, even though soldiers themselves aren't.

Experts said when deployment is over the journey back into normal life can last months or even years after the homecoming ceremony.

The Army's answer is five new Embedded Behavioral Health clinics, one for each brigade on post.

"It's very important. They need the services when they come back," said Capt. Jazz Irizarry, a Behavioral Health Officer, at the 1st Brigade Combat Team's clinic.

Irizarry said it doesn't take long to learn the work they do can change military families.

"I've worked with a service member for two or three months and I've had their wife come in and thank me. So I know that it's working when their wife is coming in and saying I don't know what you're doing, but thank you because it's working," she said.

The clinics each have 13 mental health professionals to offer more personalized, focused care.

They will replace the monthly appointments of the overcrowded centralized facility allowing each clinic to offer weekly openings. Every one offers daily walk-in hours from 9-11 a.m.

"They don't have to wait until their next appointment three weeks down the line and just continue to stew and stew and stew and stew until it becomes a crisis. They can come in before it gets to the point and we can help them out," said Clinic Chief Maj. Bonnie Huber.

The program first started as a pilot program at Fort Carson in Colorado. Army officials there say they've seen fewer cases of psychiatric problems, spouse or child abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, suicides and drug use.

Many of the clinics on Fort Campbell are in temporary trailers, but the Army plans to build permanent buildings in the next few years.

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