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Veterans: Assessment and Screening for PTSD & Suicidality

2 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $19.00

Developed by Garry Cooper, LCSW

This course is also offered as part of a Certificate Program on Trauma, PTSD & Traumatic Brain Injury 36 CE Credit Hours

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

The high incidence of PTSD and suicide among veterans has spurred some of the best research on assessment and treatment by the Defense Department (DoD) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Their reports on assessment and treatment protocols are vital reading for any psychotherapist treating PTSD or treating clients at risk for suicide. Because of the high rates of suicide and PTSD among veterans, states such as Connecticut have begun requiring psychotherapists to earn continuing education credits in the area of PTSD, suicide and veterans.

This introductory level course introduces psychotherapists to the material put out by DoD and VA concerning assessment and treatment of PTSD and suicidal thinking. The VA is encouraging private psychotherapists to provide mental healthcare to veterans, and this course contains information on how both veterans and private psychotherapists can participate under the auspices of VA healthcare benefits. It also includes the recent changes in eligibility criteria for veterans seeking VA healthcare benefits. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Describe the assessment for PTSD.

2.    Describe the assessment and treatment of suicidal ideation and actions.


Department of Veterans Affairs. (2013). Clinical practice guideline for assessment and management of patients at risk for suicide. Retrieved from https://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/MH/srb/VADODCP_SuicideRisk_Full.pdf

Department of Veterans Affairs. (2013). Clinical practice guideline for the management of post-traumatic stress. Retrieved from https://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/MH/ptsd/CPGSummaryFINALMgmtofPTSDfinal021413.pdf

Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2014). Suicide screening and assessment. Retrieved from http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/migrate/library/RS_suicide%20screening_91814%20final.pdf

Course Syllabus

Eligibility criteria for veterans to receive health care benefits

  • VA definition of veterans
  • New healthcare benefits card

Suicide screening and suicide assessment

  • The difference between screening and assessment
  • Choosing the most effective screening and treatment methods
  • Assessment and treatment algorithms
  • Antidepressants for suicidal patients

Assessment of PTSD

  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Behavioral
  • Emotional
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