Article contributed by Julie Collins
The 7th annual San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference — a presented by the STRONG STAR Consortium (South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience) and UT Health San Antonio — will resume an in-person format after two virtual conferences due to COVID-19. This year’s event will be held Oct. 26-27, 2022, at the Briscoe Western Art Museum along the San Antonio River Walk and will be capped at 400 participants.
Each year the conference draws an international audience of leaders in the field of military psychological health who gather to hear the state of the science on preventions and treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring conditions. Participants include researchers, clinicians, leaders and policy makers within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs as well as from academia and the civilian sector. Numerous military personnel, veterans and community members with an interest in the mental health needs of our nation’s war fighters also join the proceedings.
Conference attendees can opt at registration to sign up for continuing education credits. Focal areas this year will include resiliency enhancement, suicide prevention, research outcomes with next-generation PTSD treatments, advancing treatment of co-occurring conditions and implementation of evidence-based treatments in clinical settings.
A highlight on Day 1 will be the keynote “Profiles in Resilience” address by Clint Romesha, who received the Medal of Honor for his bravery in defending a remote outpost while serving in the Army in Afghanistan. Romesha wrote about that experience in the book “Red Platoon.” His experience is featured in the Medal of Honor series produced by Netflix and is the subject of the film “The Outpost.”
The keynote on Day 2 will be provided by Craig Bryan, PsyD, of Ohio State University, a recognized national expert on military and veteran suicides. Bryan will speak on preventing firearm suicide, something he and many consider the third rail of suicide prevention. As part of a powerful morning lineup, attendees also will hear from Ronald Stewart, MD, of UT Health Science Center and University Health in San Antonio, who treated victims of mass shootings in Uvalde and Sutherland Springs, Texas. He will speak on the intersection of physical and psychological trauma.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation returns as presenting sponsor of this year’s conference. The foundation ensures that our nation’s impacted veterans, service members and their families have access to the highest level of support and resources they have earned, for as long as they need it.
“The San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference is the only national meeting of its type. I look forward to this unique opportunity once again to bring together top minds in the field who are dedicated to protecting and improving the mental health of our military service members and veterans,” said Alan Peterson, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UT Health San Antonio and director of the STRONG STAR Consortium. “The event allows us to learn from each other and to better identify the necessary next steps in advancing the science. We are truly grateful for the continuing support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps make this meeting possible.”
“We’re pleased to support the San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference again this year,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “The conference’s focus on providing information about emerging outcomes and ongoing research on the prevention of and treatments for PTSD and co-occurring conditions is so important in addressing the needs of our service members, veterans, families and caregivers. It is through collaborative efforts such as these that we move closer to a future in which our veterans and their families are thriving in every American community.”
For more information on the San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference and registration, visit www.combatPTSDconference.com