Monday, February 27, 2006

Combat PTSD: Incident Database for Reporters, Researchers

[UPDATE Nov 13, 2009]: Unfortunately, the PTSD Timeline link is no longer working, making the data presently inaccessible online; I will be moving the information to a new home beginning in January 2010. I will post on these developments as the work begins; if you'd like to keep abreast, consider signing up for once-daily FeedBurner emails for this blog. Thank you for your patience. -- Ilona Meagher]

What is the PTSD Timeline?

It's a collection of online news reports listing incidents related to returning combat veterans coping with PTSD. It also includes self-reported incidents of combat PTSD.

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for more...

The purpose of the PTSD Timeline is to:

  • Aid in our understanding of the magnitude of this all-encompassing problem
  • Record the incidents for future study and evaluation
  • Allow reporters and researchers to find OEF and OIF PTSD incident data quickly and easily
Editor's note, 10/23/06: When I began recording these incidents in September 2005, there wasn't much national attention on the matter. And so I began gathering and recording some of them myself, with ePluribus Media now collaborating to collect, fact-check, and present them online as the PTSD Timeline.

Fortunately, since March 2006 (the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq), coverage of combat PTSD has vastly improved over the previous years' reporting. Let's keep the spotlight going on this issue...unfortunately, it's going to continue to need it.

Over the past summer and fall I've been writing a book to be published by Ig Publishing in May 2007, Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops. The Timeline work has suffered for the lost focus, but in November 2006 through the winter I'll be updating the PTSD Timeline, which continues to be used by organizations and individuals far and wide (Sen. John Kerry's office the latest among them).

Thanks for your support and patience as the database itself also undergoes a face lift in the coming months. And if you know of an incident, please email me. Thank you, again, to those who have been supporters of this work.

houseva_cspan7Editor's Note, 12/23/07: The work of collecting suicide data has indeed picked up steam, with CBS News finally doing some heavy data collection lifting last month. The attention led the House Veterans Affairs Committee to convene a hearing on December 12, 2007, Stopping Suicide: Mental Health Challenges Within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and invited me to testify. [Notes on my experience; view hearing.]

houseva_cspan16Being lauded by Congress (that's my Congressman, Rep. Don Manzullo [R-IL] holding a copy of my book) for my work was the greatest of nods and the culmination of two years of steady work on this issue. It was also a welcome affirmation that the issue is indeed of great consequence and that our attention to it is needed and our action in light of the data continues to be vital and long overdue.

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