Fort Carson soldiers participate in film project to heal PTSD
Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 4:11:00 PM
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a growing issue among military members, but a project at Fort Carson
is looking for answers to the problem in filmmaking, The Associated Press reports. Ben Patton, a New York documentary filmmaker and grandson of famous General George Patton, is working with Scott Kinnamon, a Denver educational filmmaker, to help soldiers make sense of post-traumatic stress disorders by telling their stories on film.
The project involved a filmmaking class at Fort Carson called I Was There Media Workshop, during which soldiers convey their stories through a documentary-style film.
"You can put everything into a video or a movie, a small movie about what you want to tell people - your story," First Sergeant Jason Gallego, who deployed to Iraq three times, told the news outlet. He has now produced a short film called From Hero to Zero.
Major Christopher Ivany, psychiatrist and former head of the base's behavioral health services unit, told the news outlet that this pilot program supplements the already-established forms of therapy used for veterans, and marks one of the first times the Army has considered filmmaking as therapy.
The goal is to "take control of the things that happened in the past and paint that in a specific way that makes sense," he told the publication. "And hopefully do that in a way that allows them to think about that as a more productive or positive and more realistic past event, and then go forward in their life easier."
The program is being highlighted as a part of National PTSD Awareness Month. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 11-20 percent of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. An estimated 10 percent of vets from the Gulf War have it, and about 30 percent of Vietnam veterans are still suffering.
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