Veterans diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may wait years for symptoms to become apparent. Once diagnosed, however, treatment is available, and depending on the severity of the injury, it can be successful. The VA is constantly developing new treatments for TBI.
The question becomes how the veterans handle life once their TBI has been treated. Colorado State University (CSU) has developed a program called “A New Start.” This program is tailored to helping people with TBIs adjust by giving them the skills they need to start educational and occupational phases in their lives.
A New Start is run by the Center for Community Partnerships. This is an outreach arm of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Human Services. Not only does the program provide a “re-entry system” for veterans, it provides occupational therapy students at CSU a chance to perform fieldwork with the veterans. For the students it is a chance to learn how to work with particular disabilities.
The “re-entry system” provided to veterans involves helping the veteran find work whether it be full time or just an internship to get their foot in the door. Beyond that, the program provides the veterans with skills on how to deal with emotional issues such as anger and depression. The program seeks to show veterans why certain careers would be good fits for them, individually.
Many veterans with brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety can be triggered by any number of things such as loud noises, crowds, trees, dogs, etc. With so many potential triggers, it is not surprising many of these veterans have such a problem keeping a job. Many veterans also suffer from sleeplessness and short-term memory loss, which both increase the possibility veterans will not acclimate well to their new environment.
To combat these issues, A New Start gives these returning veterans a “battle buddy” to help negotiate many of the issues facing veterans so as to avoid triggers. These battle buddies also help line up internships and assist with scheduling. This type of personalized service is what sets this program apart from others. The program is also free to the veteran as it is paid for by the referring agency.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.