Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit - PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit

 
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Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit

  Welcome to the Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit. Both Veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD and providers working to deliver care to them in rural settings face unique challenges. In particular, disparities in the availability and use of effective psychotherapies and medications have been noted.

This toolkit compiles information and resources to help you, the rural health care provider. By recognizing the benefits and barriers of rural care provision, you can improve the lives of rural Veterans with PTSD by reducing obstacles to effective treatments and improving care coordination between Veterans Affairs (VA) and community services. Learn how to access tools that optimize PTSD care, support your patients, and help you manage your own self-care.

You may browse the toolkit based upon the navigational sections above. Or, use this interactive diagram below to link to the content most useful for a given stage of care.
Raising Awareness
Raising Awareness
Rural mental health providers need to be ready to battle stigma every day. Be sure you, clinic staff, and patients know the facts and be ready to bust common PTSD myths and talk about suicide. You could save a life.

Review the Rural Health Care Realities section and draw on Suicide Risk Management and Helpful Organizations to open hearts and minds in your community.
Engaging in Care
Engaging in Care
Motivational interviewing and shared decision making helps show people with PTSD the high cost of not getting effective treatment. Your outside perspective on how PTSD is affecting a patient's life is the key that unlocks the door. Make yourself ready, willing and able to connect people to PTSD treatments that will work.

Visit Ensuring Core PTSD Services and Engaging Rural Patients in Psychotherapy sections to make sure you have the facts and techniques you need to connect patients to care.
Screening, Diagnosis & Assessment
Screening, Diagnosis & Assessment
Over half of the people you meet in clinics have experienced a trauma. Making PTSD screening a routine can help you find the ones who need help. Support staff can open the conversation by engaging patients with 5 quick questions (PC-PTSD-5). Administering the PTSD checklist during care helps show progress.

Our Screening and Assessment and E-tools and Trainings sections will help you know where to start.
Choosing the Right Treatment
Choosing the Right Treatment
The most effective treatment for PTSD is trauma-focused therapy. Who in your community can offer this type of therapy to your patients? And if a patient opts for medication, do you know which antidepressants work and which medication classes to avoid?

See our PTSD Guideline Overview, Do No Harm, and Optimizing Rural Care sections for help.
Staying the Course
Staying the Course
Connecting with colleagues to share best practices can improve rural PTSD care and combat professional isolation. And in order to be open to a patient who opens up about a traumatic experience, you need to first be compassionate to yourself.

Feeling alone or burnt out? Learn about Building a Community of Practice, reach out to the PTSD Consultation Program, and visit our Rural Provider Self-Care section.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health

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