nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends

PTSD Awareness Training

Benefit Category: State

Combat Veterans and Higher Education:  Helping Student Veterans with PTSD and TBI Achieve Academic Success

Today’s combat veterans are not only readjusting to life in a civilian world but many are also choosing to return to school.  Sometimes, these Veterans are also managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which may bring about additional difficulties when attending school. This free two-hour seminar provides participants with information about PTSD, TBI, and how to help our student Veterans succeed in facilities of higher education.

Amy Gunkelman, LICSW manages the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Program at the Fargo VA Health Care System. For the past seven years, she has been providing case management, short-term therapy, and advocacy for combat veterans.

Kirsten Hanson, CRC, NCC is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and National Certified Counselor from the VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) office at the Fargo VA Regional Office.  Kirsten provides counseling and case management for student Veterans with disabilities who are attending colleges in ND and MN. 

  1. Introductions (Amy & Kirsten)
    1. VA Social Work services
    2. VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment services
  1. Facts & Figures
    1. Number of Service-members currently deployed
    2. Number of Service-members that have returned from combat zones (recent)
    3. Current number of Veterans attending college in ND
    4. Number of Veterans with PTSD and/or TBI/mTBI diagnosis (in region if available)
  1. What is PTSD
    1. Common symptoms
    2. Potential accommodations to help achieve success in college
    3. How to recognize if a student is struggling
    4. Group exercise/discussion
  1. What is TBI/mTBI
    1. Common symptoms
    2. Potential accommodations to help achieve success in college
    3. How to recognize if a student is struggling
    4. Group exercise/discussion
  1. Other common disabilities that you may encounter with student Veterans
    1. Physical disabilities (seen/unseen) 
    2. Potential accommodations to help achieve success in college
    3. How to recognize if a student is struggling
    4. Group exercise/discussion
  1. Resources in your community
    1. VA programs/services
    2. Campus resources
    3. Community resources (provide list)
  1. Wrap-up and final questions

To schedule this training for your organization, please contact:

Amy Gunkelman:

            Email: amy.gunkelman@va.gov

            Phone:  701-232-3241 ext 4310

Kirsten Hanson:

            Email: kirsten.hanson@va.gov          

            Phone: 701-451-4626

Discharge Requests

Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 37-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and /or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).