AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Enhancing Behavioral Health Services for Veterans
The latest issue of AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchangefeatures three programs that used innovative strategies to enhance behavioral health services for veterans. One of the profiles describes theVets Prevail project, in which veterans reluctant to seek behavioral health services can use an anonymous online program to reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The program contains seven self-paced modules based on cognitive behavioral theory and features avatars, messages and vignettes customized to the user’s experience and stage of life. In various studies, Vets Prevail has enhanced access to behavioral health services – in part by reducing the stigma associated with using such services – and has generated significant improvements in symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and high levels of satisfaction among users. The symptom reductions are comparable to those seen with in-person therapy at a fraction of the cost.