More than 75,000 people from Illinois have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11. And it's estimated that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury occur among one-third of returning veterans.
These invisible wounds can hinder veterans' ability to fit back in at home and at work — and, if left untreated, can lead to suicide. To address the challenges these veterans face, as well as the needs of their family members, Rush opened the Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families in March.
Staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and rehabilitation specialists, among others, the program provides care for patients with PTSD, military sexual trauma and traumatic brain injury. The goal is to ensure that veterans and their loved ones connect with the resources they need to help them overcome any negative effects from their combat experience.
"You would think that coming home would be the easy part, but transitioning from military to civilian life is often a challenge," says Mark Pollack, MD, medical director of the Road Home Program and head of psychiatry at Rush. "We want to ensure that veterans and their families can connect with care and get the resources they need to take control of their health and family lives."