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Web-based 'video doctors' part of new program for anxiety and at-risk drinking

November 17, 2011
by News release
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Wellesley Hills, Mass. — Military Pathways, the DoD funded program that offers anonymous online screenings for mental health, is excited to announce the launch of the alcohol and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) Video Doctors. These new programs will join the depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) segments that launched last year.

Video Doctor is an anonymous, web-based tool that gives service members and their families the opportunity to consult with an actor portrayed Video Doctor about mental health and alcohol related issues. Individuals can access the program by visiting www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org and completing an anonymous online self-assessment. After completing the brief questionnaire, the individual receives immediate results regarding risk factors and then has the opportunity to learn more about mental health or alcohol abuse through the Video Doctor program.

"When I took the online screening and accessed Video Doctor, it became clear that my emotional problems were due to my alcohol abuse and I couldn't handle it anymore. That's when I decided I needed help," says Jarrod Woods, a former U.S. Army National Guard member.

By simulating a doctor/patient conversation, the Video Doctor program guides participants through a series of questions about their emotional well-being and readiness to seek help. The program also provides self-care tips and recommendations on how and where to access mental health resources, including services provided through the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

"It can be difficult to take that first step and seek help. The goal of Video Doctor is to help identify symptoms of depression, PTSD, anxiety or alcohol misuse and guide a person down the path of either talking with a clinician or making some positive lifestyle changes to build resiliency," says Dr. Robert Ciulla, Chief, Population & Prevention Programs at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology.

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