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Are Mental Health Professionals Prepared to Treat Combat Vets?

October 6, 2008

Capella University (www.capella.edu), an accredited(a) online university that has built its reputation by providing quality graduate education for working adults, has announced that it will host a free webinar discussion, Treating Returning Servicemembers: Are Mental Health Professionals Ready? on Oct. 13, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The discussion will be led by military mental health experts from the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Society (APA), including David Fenell, PhD, chair of last year’s ACA Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, and Will Wilson, PhD, president of APA’s Society for Military Psychology.

Treating Returning Servicemembers: Are Mental Health Professionals Ready? will be webcast from Capella’s residential colloquium at the National Convention Center in Lansdowne, VA, providing the 900 Capella PhD and master’s degree students in attendance the opportunity to participate in the live discussion. Other interested participants are invited to join the discussion via the webcast. Additional information and registration is available at www.joiningforcesamerica.org.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve been able to bring together representatives from both the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association to lead this important discussion,” said Christopher Cassirer, ScD, acting president of Capella University. “This is an issue that affects all of us. Since 2001, more than a million and a half troops have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones, and studies suggest that more than a third return with major mental health or cognitive conditions. At Capella, we are particularly interested in this issue because a large proportion of our students are either affiliated with the military or enrolled in our master’s and PhD programs in mental health counseling and psychology.”

About the discussion leaders

Dr. David Fenell is an expert on military counseling and chair of last year’s American Counseling Association Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. He is a colonel (retired) in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Reserve and was mobilized to active duty from 2001-2003 and 2005-2006, including tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq working as the command psychologist for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan and a second Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. His son, an officer in the Marine Corps, is currently serving his second tour in Iraq. Dr. Fenell currently works as a professor of Counselor Education and chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Services for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Dr. Will Wilson is president of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Military Psychology and a Capella University faculty chair with the Harold Abel School of Psychology. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in the Special Forces in Vietnam and later as a military psychologist. He also taught at West Point, where his achievements included establishing the Cadet Counseling Center and the Center for Leadership & Personal Development. He moderates an ongoing Internet discussion group on military psychology, and is actively pursuing the establishment of an organization that will ensure that those in the military community, including veterans and family members, have easy access to mental health assistance and information.

About Capella University

Capella University (www.capella.edu) is an accredited(a), fully online university that has built its reputation providing quality graduate education for working adults. Eighty-three percent of Capella students are currently enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services, psychology, public health, and public safety. Capella also offers bachelor’s degree programs in business, information technology, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 109 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 15 certificate programs. More than 23,700 learners were enrolled as of June 30, 2008, from all 50 states and 45 other countries. Capella is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Founded in 1993, Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

(a) Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org.

Capella University, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552), www.capella.edu.

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