The PTSD SIG is focused on all stages of career mentorship, dissemination of research, and advancement of quality patient care. It provides a venue for professionals from all disciplines to network and create new connections in the field.
- Lauren Sippel, PhD - National Center for PTSD Executive Division
- Michelle Bovin, PhD - National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System
Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP, Emory University School of Medicine
2019-2020 Annual Report
This year marked the first full year that the PTSD SIG was led by co-chairs Drs. Bovin and Sippel. We have had many discussions about how to carry the enthusiasm of each ADAA meeting into the rest of the year. With the assistance of Ms. Susan Gurley and Ms. Vickie Spielman at ADAA, and the support of Dr. Sheila Rauch, our ADAA board representative, we administered a survey to SIG members in January 2020 to gain a better understanding of their professional needs and interests. Questions assessed SIG members' intention to attend the ADAA and PTSD SIG meetings; factors that would impact attendance at future meetings; members' career stage; target populations (adults and/or children/adolescents) of interest; and primary professional responsibilities (clinical and/or research). We also asked members to indicate how they would like to spend the SIG meeting. A total of 35 SIG members responded to the survey. Although we were unable to use this information when it was collected due to the cancellation of the 2020 ADAA annual meeting, we are currently reviewing our findings to plan the PTSD SIG meeting at the 2021 virtual ADAA meeting.
This year we also worked to increase communication among PTSD SIG members. For example, we shared COVID-19-related resources prepared by the National Center for PTSD that were intended to help providers and their patients. Resources included handouts about managing stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and information about COVID Coach, an app developed by NCPTSD to promote self-care and provide mental health support. We also alerted SIG members about new research on PTSD treatment. This promoted active, critical discussion of PTSD treatment research within our SIG, including a number of emails from senior members of the SIG.
Plans for the Future
We continue to consider ways to bring the PTSD SIG members together to make the SIG more active; to expand the trauma network community; to provide valuable resources; and to support networking among members. The COVID-19 pandemic offers us expanded opportunities for networking, as geographical boundaries no longer serve as boundaries to connecting virtually. However, SIG members are also experiencing unprecedented stressors during the pandemic. In consideration of the additional stressors our members are facing, we will continue to promote learning and networking opportunities selectively via email while also exploring other low-burden mechanisms such as Slack - a workspace in which we could share new PTSD research, award opportunities, and training and job opportunities. We will continue o make ourselves available to SIG members so that they can make suggestions about areas within PTSD that they would like the SIG to address. We will make a concerted effort to share resources (e.g., apps, lectures, newsletters) that researchers and clinicians interested in PTSD will find useful. We remain interested in sponsoring or co-sponsoring a live webinar in the area of trauma and PTSD; we intend to work with Dr. Rauch and the ADAA team to identify a PTSD-related topic that could expand the SIG's reach. Lastly, we are excited to continue to work with Ms. Alexandria Klein, a graduate student at Case Western University, to help students get more involved in the SIG. We will continue to work with Ms. Klein and other interested SIG members to both help increase activity within the SIG and ensure that the needs of SIG members across career states are met.