The STRONG STAR Consortium based at UT Health San Antonio is gearing up to present its sixth annual San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference. Registration is now open for the conference, which this year will be held virtually Oct. 20-21, and for pre-conference continuing education workshops scheduled for Oct. 19.
The only national scientific event of its type, the conference shares the state-of the-science on assessment, prevention and treatment of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring conditions. Each year it draws an international audience including hundreds of researchers, clinicians, leaders and policy makers within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs as well as from academia and the civilian sector. Numerous military personnel, veterans and community members with an interest in the mental health needs of our nation’s war fighters also join the proceedings.
The conference will once again be virtual to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Still, its platform and agenda promise to be engaging, as STRONG STAR collaborators and other national investigators present the latest research findings and discuss interesting applications of leading therapies.
Speakers and presentation topics will include:
- Day 1 Keynote: “Life, Death, Loss, and Love: The Role of the Narrative in Cultivating Post-Traumatic Growth,” presented by Josh Mantz. Mantz, a retired major with the U.S. Army, will share what he has learned about cultivating resilience since his near-death experience from a sniper attack in Iraq.
- Day 2 Keynote: “The Remarkable Past, Present, and Future of the Study of Psychological Trauma,” presented by Terence M. Keane, PhD. One of the pioneers in PTSD research and treatment, Dr. Keane serves as director of the Behavioral Sciences Division of the VA’s National Center for PTSD, associate chief of research and development at VA Boston Healthcare System, and professor of psychiatry and assistant dean for research at Boston University School of Medicine.
- Plenary sessions with speakers sharing scientific insights on topics including:
- Moral injury, suicide prevention, sleep disorders and substance use comorbidity with PTSD.
- Pandemic-related best practices in evidence-based treatment.
- Augmenting therapy with treatments such as a stellate ganglion block.
- Prestigious researchers discussing clinical applications of some of the top PTSD therapies, including Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy, Written Exposure Therapy and Adaptive Disclosure.
Alan Peterson, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UT Health San Antonio and director of the STRONG STAR Consortium, thanked the Bob Woodruff Foundation for helping to make this year’s compelling program possible. The foundation, which invests in programs helping impacted veterans, service members and their families thrive, is once again supporting the conference as a presenting sponsor.
“The Bob Woodruff Foundation is an important partner in our effort to advance the care and treatment of psychologically wounded warriors,” Dr. Peterson said. “Financial support by them and other major sponsors allows us to continue to hold and grow this conference and to further disseminate the latest scientific findings on combat-PTSD and related conditions. From this unique international gathering of researchers, clinicians, military and VA leaders, and the public, we also learn more about the needs of our service members and veterans, where the research gaps are, and how better to address them moving forward.”
“As world events continue to adversely impact the mental health of our military and veteran communities, it’s more important than ever to share best practices, insights, and resources. Working together, we can advance our understanding of PTSD treatment and improve outcomes for those we serve.” said Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “That’s why we’re proud to continue our support for the innovative San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference.”
The conference registration fee is $50 per day. That fee will be waived for students and active duty military personnel. Participants also have the option of paying separately to purchase conference continuing education credits and to register for the pre-conference continuing education workshops.
For more information on the San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference or to register, visit www.combatPTSDconference.com