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Graduate School of Professional Psychology
The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology

The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology

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The State of Military & Veterans Behavioral Health Services

Serving Those Who Have Served Us

There are 22.2 million Veterans in the United States, with almost 3 million individuals who have been deployed to the conflicts in Iraq and/or Afghanistan (OIF, OEF, OND) and surrounding countries on behalf of the United States armed forces. Colorado is home to more than 416,000 Veterans, and the need for behavioral and mental health care services for all Veterans, Service Members and their families is growing dramatically. The demand for carefully trained and culturally competent psychologists to asses and treat this population is expected to outgrow the number of practitioners in the workforce. 

The Sturm Family Foundation and the University of Denver’s (DU) Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP) have partnered to create a specialty academic and clinical training track for graduate students who wish to serve this population and to address the need for psychologists. The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology helps expand behavioral and mental health services for the individuals who have served our country, in both the Colorado and DU communities. 

Expanding Behavioral Health Services for Military and Veterans in Our Community

Military psychology is a sub-discipline borne out of the need to address the unique issues that are faced by Veterans, Service Members and their families. Active duty and military Veterans are often plagued by above-average rates of substance abuse, chronic homelessness, psychological disorders, suicide, and impaired vocational functioning because of the impact of their service and reintegration challenges. This population deserves care from those providers who have expertise and an understanding of their unique issues. GSPP has partnered with the Sturm Family Foundation to employ experienced psychologists with specific expertise in military and Veteran psychology to oversee the clinical and academic work in this specialty.

Specifically, the Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology includes four key components:

  1. Focused Academic Training. This involves coursework targeting military culture around the world, current political affairs, military and mental health policy, physiological and psychological effects of military duty, evidence-based assessment and treatment of military-related health disparities, interprofessional healthcare education, and behavioral medicine applications in the military. 

  2. The Sturm CenterThis off-campus community clinic provides behavioral and mental health services to Veterans, Service Members and their families. The graduate students in the Sturm Specialty provide evidence-based, personalized and culturally competent services. They are supervised by licensed clinical psychologists who have specific expertise working with this population.

  3. Consulting, Outreach and Community Education. The Faculty and Clinic Directors in the Sturm Specialty partner together to provide consulting, briefs, and updates on difficult situations, cultural considerations, and up-to-date knowledge on health disparities - specifically mental and behavioral health issues affecting this population - to outside agencies, stakeholders, government, and community partners.

  4. Clinical Outcomes Research. Building on the coursework and clinical training provided, students will engage in research training which emphasizes enhanced clinical outcomes for services provided to this population. By employing new, innovative, and active treatment approaches with this population, students will engage in all aspects of research training within clinical and laboratory settings while in the program.

GSPP’s unique approach and 40-year history of research, service, and training create a solid foundation for the Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology at GSPP. The Sturm Specialty provides culturally competent and personalized services for our Veterans, Service Members, and their families, in addition to support for Veterans community groups. It creates a greater workforce to provide Veterans with assistance, and builds the University of Denver's reputation for supporting Veterans, Service Members, and their families in our city and beyond.

The Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology is proudly supported by:
 The Sturm Family Foundation