White House Joining Forces Initiative

The APA's Board of Educational Affairs and the Council of Chairs of Training Councils in professional psychology enthusiastically support APA's partnership in the White House Joining Forces Initiative and have passed the following resolution in support of this:

“We value the commitment and sacrifice that service members, veterans and their families have made to our nation and believe that psychology plays an essential role in promoting the health and wellness of the military and veteran communities.

“Psychologists are leaders in developing treatments and implementing services specific to their needs. Through assessment, therapy, research, and program evaluation, psychologists are actively addressing some of the most significant challenges facing these communities, including postdeployment reintegration, posttraumatic stress disorder, postcombat depression, traumatic brain injury, family adjustment and other behavioral health concerns.

“The psychology education and training community affirms our commitment to prepare current and future psychologists to provide evidence-based, culturally competent clinical services as well as to advance scientific knowledge, promote health and train other health professionals in deployment psychology. We also commit to continued enrichment of the psychology curricula, from high school through doctoral, internship and postdoctoral programs, so as to improve professional and public understanding of psychological issues, including that of avoiding stigmatizing those seeking services.”

Pledge and Participating Institutions

In 2012, the following psychology education and training programs have committed to participate in the Joining Forces initiative by pledging to do one or more of the following:

  • Participate in the free webinar offered by APA “Caring for the Military Family: What We All Should Know About Military Culture and the Stress of Deployment” or the on-demand recording of the webcast by 2013.  
  • Disseminate information to all trainees to promote an understanding of military culture and up-to-date clinical practice for problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and family adjustment by 2013.
  • Provide all trainees with at least one training experience specific to the needs of service members, veterans and their families by 2013.
  • Provide research training to advance knowledge about mental and behavioral health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and the psychological sequel of traumatic brain injury, including research on effective psychological diagnostic and intervention services as well as issues such as stigma by 2013.
  • Offer at least one educational experience to other health professions about deployment psychology by 2013.
  • Provide at least one educational experience for the public about deployment psychology by 2013.
  • Provide resources to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education regarding the educational and mental health needs of students/families in the military by 2013.
  • Complete a brief survey about their program's current educational programs and training opportunities related to service members, veterans and their families. 
Participating Institutions

Sign the pledge to participate

Argosy University, Phoenix
Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio
Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Complex at Terre Haute, Ind.
California State University, San Bernardino
Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Ill.
Casper College
Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System
Children's Hospital Colorado
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Cincinnati VA Medical Center
Dartmouth College, Geisel School of Medicine
Dayton VA Medical Center
Denver VA Medical Center
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, California 
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh 
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Medical Center, Bedford, Mass.
Emory University
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J. 
Fargo VA Health Care System
Federal Correctional Complex, Butner, N.C.
Florida State University
Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. 
Gainesville VA Medical Center
Georgia Southern University Counseling Center
H.H. McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, Va.
Hefner VA Medical Center, Salisbury, N.C.
Hofstra University
Huntington VA Medical Center
John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit
Illinois State University
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa, Fla.
James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home, Tenn.
Kansas State University Counseling Services
Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore 
Lancaster General Health
Larned State Hospital
Lexington VA Medical Center
Long Island Jewish Medical Center, The Zucker Hillside Hospital
Loyola University Chicago
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich. 
May Institute
Medaille College, Buffalo, N.Y. 
Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Jackson, Miss. 
Michigan State University Counseling Center
Mid Atlantic Internship Consortium
Montana State University Counseling and Psychological Services
New Mexico VA Health Care System, Southwest Consortium
New York University Langone Medical Center
Northport VA Medical Center
Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center, Iron Mountain, Mich.
Park Place Behavioral Healthcare, Kissimmee, Fla.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Phoenix VA Health Care System
Portland VA Medical Center
Purdue University
Rutgers University
Salem VA Medical Center
San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program
Sioux Falls VA Health Care System
South Texas Veterans Health Care System
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
Suffolk University Counseling Center
Tampa VA Psychology Service
Texas A&M University
Texas State University Counseling Center
The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center, Virginia Polytechnic and State University
Tulane University School of Medicine
University at Buffalo Counseling Services
University of Akron Counseling Center
University of California, Davis Counseling and Psychological Services
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Kansas
University of Miami Counseling Center
University of Mississippi Medical Center/VA Medical Center Consortium
University of Missouri-St. Louis
University of Nevada Reno
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina-Charlotte
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
University of North Dakota
University of Northern Colorado Counseling Center
University of Notre Dame, University Counseling Center
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
University of San Diego Counseling Center
University of South Alabama
University of South Dakota
University of South Florida
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
University of Toledo Medical Center
University of Wyoming
Utah State University Counseling and Psychological Services
VA Boston Health Care System
VA Caribbean Health Care System
VA Central Iowa Health Care System
VA Connecticut Healthcare System-West Haven
VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System-Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center
VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Ill.
VA Maryland Health Care System/University of Maryland-Baltimore Consortium
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Manhattan Campus
VA North Texas Health Care System
VA Northern California Health Care System
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle 
VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System
VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center
VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System
VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center
VA Western New York Healthcare System
WELLWVU Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services
West Chester University
West Virginia University
Westchester Jewish Community Services
White River Junction VA Medical Center
William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, S.C.
William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wis.
Wright State University Counseling and Wellness Services
Yeshiva University, New York

Resources for Psychology Education and Training Programs

Also available, by generous acknowledgement of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy Veteran/Military Version Therapist's Manual and Therapist Materials

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Veterans and Military Servicemembers Therapist Manual and DVD

To request these materials please email.

Statistics

  • Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 2 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.1 About 40 percent of current military service members have been deployed more than once.
  • There are 1.4 million active duty service members — 14 percent of whom are women — and 1.1 million guard and reserve members.2
    • There are 2.0 million spouses and children/dependents of active duty service members.
    • 44 percent of active duty service members have children — 76 percent of these children are age 11 and younger.
    • Only 37 percent of families live on military installations; the remaining 63 percent live in over 4,000 communities nationwide.
  • With the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan, over one million service members are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016.
  • There are an estimated 22.2 million veterans in the U.S. — eight percent of whom are women.3
  • In the current conflicts, the military has experienced multiple redeployments, short dwell time between deployments, greater dependence on the National Guard and reserve components, deployment of high numbers of women and parents of young children, and a higher number of service members who survive serious injuries that in previous wars would have been fatal. 4
  • The majority of returning service members and their families are resilient to the stresses of war and successfully readjust to life after deployment.
  • About one in three U.S. service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan experiences signs of combat stress, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Only 53 percent of returning troops who screened positive for PTSD or major depression sought help from a provider for these conditions in the preceding year.5 Of those who had PTSD or depression and sought treatment, only slightly over half received adequate treatment.
  • Only 57 percent of those with a probable TBI had been evaluated by a physician for a brain injury in the preceding year.5
  • Although 53 percent of recent Iraq and Afghanistan veterans receive their health care through the VA, many veterans and their families will seek care in community settings from primary care and community mental health clinicians.
  • Of recent Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans who used VA care, 48 percent were diagnosed with a mental health problem.6
  • In the five years from 2005 to 2010, on average, one service member committed suicide every 36 hours.7
  • U.S. Army suicides reached an all-time high in July 2011 with the deaths of 33 active and reserve component service members.
  • Mental and substance use disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other cause.8
  • Children of deployed military personnel have more school, family and peer-related emotional difficulties, compared with national samples.9

1. Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment January 2011.
2. Demographics 2010: Profile of the Military Community.
3. National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, Veteran Population Projection  Model (VetPop) 2007.
4. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: preliminary assessment of readjustment needs of veterans, service members and their families. 2010. Institute of Medicine.
5. Tanielian, T.L., RAND Corporation & Center for Military Health Policy Research. (2008). Invisible wounds of war: Psychological and cognitive injuries, their consequences, and services to assist recovery.
6. National Center for PTSD. Mental health effects of serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
7. Losing the Battle: the challenge of military suicide. Center for a New American Security. October 2011.
8. Zoroya, G. (2010, May 14). Mental health hospitalizations up for troops. USA Today. (Original source: Pentagon’s Medical Surveillance Month Report.)  
9. Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Jaycox, L.H., et al. (2010). Children on the homefront: The experience of children from military families. Pediatrics, 125, 16–25.