Veterans dealing with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can turn to their smart phones for help anytime with the PTSD Coach application created by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense.
"This is about giving Veterans and Servicemembers the help they earned when and where they need it," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "We hope they, their families and friends, download this free app. Understanding PTSD and those who live with it is too important to ignore."
PTSD Coach lets users track their PTSD symptoms, links them with local sources of support, provides accurate information about PTSD, and teaches helpful individualized strategies for managing PTSD symptoms at any moment. The free PTSD Coach app is now available for download from the iTunes store and will be available for Android devices by the end of the spring.
"This application acknowledges the frequency with which our Warriors and Veterans use technology and allows them to get help when and where they feel most comfortable," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson.
The PTSD Coach is primarily designed to enhance services for individuals who are already receiving mental health care, though it is certainly helpful for those considering entering mental health care and those who just want to learn more about PTSD.
"This is a great service we are providing to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and friends, but it should not be seen as a replacement for traditional therapy," said VA's Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel. "Veterans should utilize all of the benefits they have earned with their service and one of the best things about this app is it will get Veterans connected to the places that are out there to provide help."
The application is one of the first in a series of jointly designed resources by the VA National Center for PTSD and the Defense Department's National Center for Telehealth and Technology to help Servicemembers, Veterans, their families and friends manage their readjustment challenges and get anonymous assistance. Given the current popularity of mobile devices, VA and the Defense Department hope to reach tens of thousands of Veterans, Servicemembers, and their family members with the new suite of apps.