Supporting military families
Caregivers in military families face challenges to their physical and mental health. A national report indicates that the prevalence of depression among military caregivers may be up to four times higher than the U.S. adult population.
UT Health San Antonio launched a 12-week pilot program to provide telehealth counseling for caregivers in 50 military families. Each of the military caregivers in the program will complete psychological scales at the start of the study and at weeks four, eight and 12. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based psychotherapies will be utilized.
Counseling will be accomplished via computer and smartphone technology, allowing caregivers to interact face to face with licensed therapists without having to leave their homes. The program is funded through a grant from USAA.
“Every military caregiver and family is important,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, university president. “We are establishing an innovative pilot program of telehealth support for these hidden heroes. Our goal, supported by USAA, is to strengthen the resiliency of families who care for our nation’s wounded service members.”
The program will target military caregivers addressing diverse issues in their loved ones, such as pain management, effects of traumatic brain injury, and mood and anxiety disorders.
Researchers plan to create a manual of treatment protocol that can be expanded to help as many families as possible.