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University News | 04.24.19

Training Practitioners to Help Support Veteran's Mental Health

A student in the Online Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology program will receive a two-year scholarship thanks to a generous donation from Marlene Guthrie. Guthrie funded the scholarship because she wanted to support the military and its mental health challenges.

“My family is patriotic and has always provided charitable support for veterans,” Guthrie said. “As a patriotic American, I feel that I am free because our veterans have made a difference through their service, supporting our country and its citizens.”

Guthrie added that when her father was a young man, he enlisted in World War I. And though the war ended and he wasn’t called to serve, “he did enlist. He was very proud of that, and we were proud of him and the many other men and women who enlisted to protect our country and our freedoms.”

Guthrie wanted to specifically help increase the number of mental health professionals who work with veterans because she hears about veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other issues. She also has a civilian family member who has struggled with mental health issues, so she recognizes the need for specialized help to ensure that people have the counseling and support they need.

Adler University’s Military Psychology programs are dedicated to improving the mental health of military personnel, veterans, and their families. There is a need for more support for programs like this. “What has come to light over the past decade is that those who have served in the military or are currently on active duty or in the Reserves or the National Guard are a population that is experiencing much higher rates of suicide, psychological and physical injuries, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, alcohol or substance abuse, homelessness, just to mention some of the major issues,” said Online Military Psychology Program Director Joseph E. Troiani, Ph.D. He said these needs “have outstripped the professional expertise and capability of governmental healthcare systems to serve this population.”

Military Psychology programs at Alder University are addressing the gap in training military and civilian clinical psychologists in the field of military psychology. Troiani, a retired U.S. Navy officer, is proud of the program for graduating “change agents in addressing inequities experienced by those who are serving or have served, and their families.

The scholarship awardee will be identified in the fall and can be an active military, veteran, or civilian student. Guthrie’s passion to support those who have supported her country will help a student in their pursuit to improve mental health for military personnel and veterans. Said Troiani, “we are grateful to Ms. Guthrie for her understanding of the many challenges our veterans and active military personnel experience; her support will make an important difference to our program.”

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