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Apocalypse Terminable and Interminable: Operation Outreach for Vietnam Veterans
Arthur S. Blank, JR.
Psychiatric Services 1982; doi:
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Readjustment Counseling Service Veterans Administration Washington, D.C.

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In 1979 a program called Operation Outreach began to provide comprehensive and integrated psychosocial services to Vietnam veterans. The 136 vet centers, housed in storefronts and other nongovernment buildings, are staffed by Vietnam veterans and others knowledgeable about the horrors of that war; many of them are not mental health professionals. To date the centers have treated approximately 100,000 veterans out of the several hundred thousand who may be experiencing the effects of posttraumatic stress disorders. The author briefly discusses the history of the centers and describes the theoretical and clinical aspects of the program. Based on his clinical experience with veterans and on reports from vet center staff members, he outlines current information available on stress disorders of Vietnam veterans and explores their origins in war experiences and in the reception many veterans received when they returned home. He also describes which treatment methods are successful with troubled veterans and which are not.

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