Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program
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Educating Clinicians and Community

Home Base is a resource for clinicians and community members who want to support the mental health needs of veterans and familiesIn addition to clinical and support services for veterans and family members, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program offers education for clinicians and community members about the “invisible wounds of war”—post traumatic stress (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)—and the challenges faced by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.

The Home Base Program offers clinical and community education in a variety of settings, including on-line and in-person training sessions, as well as web-based educational materials for clinicians, educators, and other community members.

Why educate clinicians and community members?

Approximately 40% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will seek medical care outside the VA Healthcare System.  Home Base is working to help community clinicians recognize the signs of combat or deployment-related stress and traumatic brain injury in veterans and military-connected families who are patients in their clinical practices.  Many veterans and their families turn to their primary care doctor, pediatrician, clergy, school nurse, teacher, counselor and others in the community as 'first responders' for initial crisis intervention and counseling. These community caregivers have a genuine interest and desire to help, but they may need additional training to understand the military culture, recognize the symptoms of traumatic brain injury or deployment– and combat–related stress, or know where to refer patients for care.  At Home Base, we believe that we are all first-responders in caring for our returning veterans and families.

Who do we work with?

Home Base offers education and training to meet a variety of needs. We are a resource for clinicians and community members throughout New England who want to understand and support the mental health needs of veterans and families. We work with:

  • Primary care providers and pediatricians who serve veterans and military families
  • State government and other organizations to train school nurses, educators, school administrators and family service organizations about the needs of military families in their community
  • Colleges and universities to understand the unique challenges of student veterans and provide treatment
  • Employers and employee assistance programs to build awareness of symptoms of PTSD and TBI and help their veteran employees and military families seek effective treatment
  • First–responders including emergency medical, law enforcement and clergy in recognizing PTSD and TBI

Clinical Education Programs

Home Base collaborates with the MGH Psychiatry Academy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, to provide live and web–based educational offerings that are engaging, interactive and practical for physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers and other health professionals. The MGH Psychiatry Academy offers advanced teaching methods and interactive learning formats that focus on solving real-world challenges, while building new models of collaborative care (provider, service members, family and community) to enhance resilience and self-management skills.


Resource List

The following list of media coverage, significant research studies and on line resources is designed to give insight into the experience – in the war zone and at home -- of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and military families.

Media coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and military family experience:

The Hard Road Back New York Times, January 2, 2013-May 16, 2013

The extraordinary series chronicles experiences of military veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan but continue to confront the psychological scars of battle.

Video & Article: Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues the U.S. Military

In 2012, more active duty service members died by suicide than were killed in action. This article looks behind the numbers to understand the dramatic increase in suicide in the military. 

A Year at War New York Times, March 2010-March 2011

The series are chronicles the yearlong deployment of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, based in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan.

Video & Article: The Home Front
When a single father deploys to Afghanistan, his school age sons go to live with relatives in Wisconsin. This is the moving story of the boy’s struggle to adjust to daily life without their father, their worries and the challenges the family faces when their father returns home.

• Video: Home Base Program Helps Military Families

One Iraq War veteran and his parents generously offered to tell their moving story of the care they received at Home Base and their efforts to overcome the “invisible wounds of war” as a family.

• Video: About Face

Learn about PTSD from Veterans who live with it every day. The video series is produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. Hear their stories: Find out how treatment turned their lives around.

Significant research studies:

How Is Deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan Affecting U.S. Service Members and Their Families? RAND Corporation, 2011

Health and Mental Health Needs of Children in U.S. Military Families American Academy of Pediatrics May 27, 2013

Home Front Alerts: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families Child Trends, July 2013

Victims of military sexual trauma-you see them, too The Journal of Family Practice, March 2013

Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), September 2012

Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of our Veterans National Council for Behavioral Health, November 2012

The Concerns of Women Currently Serving in the Afghanistan Theater of Operations UNCLAS, October 2011

Informational Websites:

• U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

• U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD

• Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)

• Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

• Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

• Student Veterans of America

• Anxiety and Depression Association of America

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, more than 750,000 veterans and family members nationwide have used the Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits. Student Veterans of America provide veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.

Web-based clinical education opportunities:

PTSD 101 Curriculum

The VA’s National Center for PTSD offers dozens of PTSD 101 Course Modules to learn about all aspects of PTSD care.

War Zone to the Home Front

The Home Base Program and the VA’s National Center for PTSD have collaborated to present the free, on-line series called From the War Zone to the Home Front: Supporting the Mental Health of Veterans and Families.

Military Child Education Coalition

MCEC offers 7 web-based education programs; subjects include training for transition counselors, supporting children of the National Guard and Reserve Institute and special education leaders.

Reducing Stigma

A public service advertising campaign, developed for Home Base by the advertising firm Hill Holliday has been recognized with more than five prestigious awards including multiple Hatch Awards and a London International Award.

The campaign, which was developed last spring in time for PTSD Awareness Month, was designed pro bono by Hill Holliday. The ad campaign was designed to increase awareness for Home Base and the “invisible wounds” of war – Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury – which affect one-in-three returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The campaign’s call to action is helping to raise funds to support Home Base clinical, education and research services which enable veterans and their families to recover.

Beetle Bailey

A unique Beetle Bailey cartoon in the Boston Sunday Globe by legendary cartoonist Mort Walk about the invisible wounds was the centerpiece for the launch of the campaign, which included print, radio and out of home advertising. The cartoon and an accompanying video received Silver and Gold Hatch Awards respectively. Hill Holliday won a total of 39 Hatch Awards this year.

A radio ad titled “You Hear, They Hear” also part of the public service campaign won Gold at the London International Awards.

Take a look at different parts of the campaign:

Congratulations to our good friends at Hill Holliday for their creative accomplishments. Home Base is deeply grateful for your brilliant work on our behalf and especially for the agency’s commitment to New England service members, veterans and their families.