Arizona Agreement Aims to Extend PTSD Treatment to Navajo Nation
The Navajo Area Indian Health Service and the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System recently signed an agreement that aims to improve access to post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for war veterans, the Farmington Daily Times reports.
George Lawson -- one of the two social workers directed to provide services on the Navajo Nation reservation and a member of the Veterans Affairs' PTSD outreach team -- said, "Tapping the numbers is difficult. That's part of why we're here," adding, "We know the numbers are here, we just don't know how great they are."
The agreement allows Lawson and others to provide counseling and services in the remote locations on the reservation. The social workers also will help people sign up for Veterans Affairs benefits. The agreement also calls for the Indian Health Services to provide office space for the social workers.
"What we wanted to do was provide more outreach to Native Americans because they're in such a rural area," Ame Callahan, spokesperson for the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, said. "The reservation is so far away from facility. We wanted to take the services to them instead of them having to travel a long way to us," she added.
The Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System also plans to expand services to the Hopi Nation, with the goal of reaching out to and assisting veterans exhibiting PTSD symptoms, according to Callahan (Landry, Farmington Daily Times, 5/3).