PCT Unit In-Take Assesment
After the doctor from Mental Health has referred you to a PCT Unit they will make an appointment for you for an evaluation. This is called an Intake Assessment. Don't be surprised if your appointment is 30 to 60 days away. Most PCT Units have a waiting list
Be certain to keep your appointment! Take your DD 214 with you because they will want to see proof that you where in Vietnam, Korea or a POW. The PCT Unit interview is really called an Intake Assessment. This is an important interview. The PCT Teams are people who believe in PTSD. They are going to determine if you have PTSD and what treatment will best be helpful for you.
DURING THE INTAKE ASSESSMENT
If you received any metals or awards while you where in Vietnam tell the Team. Your awards should be listed on your DD 214, but the DD 214 doesnít describe what you did to get the award. If you had a combat MOS like Helicopter Door Gunner or you where a Point Man, Tunnel Rat, Mine Sweeper, Medic, Grunt, Special Forces, etc, tell them. If you saw people shot, people blown up, had close friends killed tell them. If you bagged and tagged bodies, tell them. If you killed one or more people, tell them. If you enjoyed killing tell them for sure. If you shot bodies after they where already dead, cut off ears, etc., ...tell them. If you now carry guns or used to carry guns because you didnít feel safe without one, tell them. If you have an arrest record, tell them.
Tell them about all the symptoms you have that you read about from paragraphs 1) thru 6). Tell them about your marriage(s). Tell them about your anger and rage. Tell them how you donít trust people... "ESPECIALLY THE GOVERNMENTĒ! Tell them how you think the VA is screwed up to the max and this PCT program is probably just as screwed up. And when they ask you, "Then why are you here", tell them you want help and .you are willing to risk another disappointment to try and receive it. Don't hold back telling them how angry you feel. Let the tears start to come if you are able. Tell them how screwed up life has been since you got back from Nam. And, tell them for some reason, things seem to be getting worse for you, ...harder to handle. The older you get the harder it is for you to hold back the anger and sadness inside. Tell them sometimes you just don't think you can take much more of this life.
The PCT Unit Intake Assessment Team most often asks you questions from the War Stress Interview-Part 1 (WSI-1) and or the War Stress Interview-Substance Abuse (WSI- SA). The WSI-1 and WSI-SA are 45-60 minute structured interviews used to assess the characteristics cf the Veterans. They include demographics, military, history, traumatic experiences, PTSD symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses, treatment history and social adjustment.
You may also be asked to take a written test. Most often it will be the Mississippi Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI). The MMPI is a Question and Circle the Answer type test. You circle the number (answer) that best describes how you feel about the question. Something you do not talk about during an in take assessment is your childhood. Beginning with the first doctor at the mental health clinic or during the PCT interview if anyone asks you about childhood, tell them as far as you know it was normal. Don't volunteer any information about childhood. You had a normal childhood. Even if you didnít, for the purpose of the interviews, you did. Childhood is something you can deal with latter in treatment, but for now your childhood was normal. You get along with your mom and dad, etc.
It wonít take the PCT Unit Intake Assessment Team very long to determine whether you have PTSD or not. If you don't get into a PCT Unit you are going to have a difficult time receiving a disability rating and compensation for PTSD.
Once you are accepted into the PCT Unit you will be asked to begin attending treatment. Different PCT Units may have slightly different ways of conducting treatment because no practice standards have yet been established for the outpatient PTSD Program.