The Missouri Department of Mental Health is working to better train its behavioral health professionals on how they can help returning veterans and their families cope with the stresses as a result of the returning veteran’s experience s in the service and learning to readjust to everyday life.

                Clinical Services Director, Craig Valone says the staff is trained to help work on issues of domestic violence with partners, children, and dealing with coming home to their families and learning to live a normal life again. The focus is to really orient the behavioral health professionals to know how to properly work with the uniqueness of these veteran’s experiences and learn to work with their families.

                “We offer therapy of all types for all ages, and so with that, hitting specifically on those cognitive processing therapy and domestic issues are some of the things we’ll be specifically focusing on. Also, just having providers understanding of traumatic brain injuries and how that can impact people’s functioning,” says Valone. Other options of therapy include talk therapy provided by the staff is offered to veterans seeking help.

                The Department of Mental Health is asking its providers, as well as other behavioral health care professionals to take special training in how they deal with treating returning soldiers, the impact of combat stress, the effects of deployment on children and their families, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“We deal with folks who have different types of issues all the time and understanding that there may be an actual physical component in addition to the mental health component is very important to our providers,” he says.

The goal is to get 2,000 behavioral health care professionals throughout the state to complete training by the end of the month. For more information, please visit