The Battle Creek VA Mental Health Service has a long history of providing innovative quality care to Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Timothy DeJong is a clinical psychologist with the PTSD team. Here, DeJong participates in a virtual meeting from his office at the Battle Creek, Michigan, VA Medical Center. PTSD vIOP offers Veterans four one-hour group sessions and up to three hours of individual treatments for PTSD each week.

In the wake of the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19, the PTSD team sought new ways for Veterans with PTSD to access treatment. One example of this is the PTSD virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (PTSD vIOP).

“The recent pandemic has presented great challenges to us as a health care organization,” said Dr. Timothy DeJong. DeJong is a clinical psychologist and PTSD coordinator with the Battle Creek VA.

More intensive care options

On more options, DeJong continued: “Our access to residential beds was significantly reduced as a result of COVID-19. We needed to provide more intensive care options to Veterans who were struggling at an outpatient level.

“The creation of the PTSD vIOP is an example of VA at its best. The VISN10 PTSD Experts group provided a forum to exchange and discuss best practices with PTSD programs across VISN10. It provided a conceptual model for our PTSD vIOP. Our team rose to the occasion, adopting the model, adapting their work and refining the process, all while remaining committed to providing the highest-quality care to our Veterans.”

All sessions delivered virtually

Launched in August 2020, the PTSD vIOP offers Veterans four different hours of group sessions per week (photo above). It also offers two to three hours of individual treatment for PTSD per week.

All group and individual sessions are delivered virtually. This maximizes access to care while reducing exposure to COVID-19. It also eliminates barriers to receiving care at a single location.

The PTSD team is accepting referrals to PTSD vIOP. It continues its commitment to delivering high-quality care to Veterans in innovative ways.

Click HERE for a three-minute video by OEI/OIF Veteran and Peer Support specialist Erika Rose. The video provides information on PTSD outpatient treatment options.

Visit to learn more about the PTSD vIOP at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.

Adam V. Swager is a public affairs specialist with the Battle Creek VA.

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Published on Oct. 16, 2020

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