Healing Heroes: a model for connecting community to PTSD therapy Centers
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The Iraq and Afghanistan wars tremendously increased the demand among veterans for mental health services. About two in every five veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom will have mental health challenges -- resulting in 500,000 to 800,000 veterans in need. Not all of these veterans will seek treatment in the Veteran Affairs Health Care System but those who do face longer and longer wait times. Increased media coverage on tragedies largely attributed to PTSD such as the 2014 Fort Hood shooting have applied greater public and political pressure on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to find strategies to mitigate these unfortunate events. This thesis seeks to build upon this public support for veteran care and work in-conjunction with the VA to develop a new, state-of-the-art Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder facility by recommending PTSD therapy centers serve local populations, promote patient recovery through architecture solutions and be removed from the institutional environments they are found in today.