1. Broken Promises: Compromised Care at VA for Veterans with PTSD Phyllis Ayman, MS/SLP, CDP, CADDCT, CDCM, CMDCP 48:26

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Ted Blickwedel, became a licensed clinical social worker after retiring from the military where he provided mental health counseling to fellow veterans.
He never expected to experience the callous approach to providing service to veterans at the hands of the Veterans Administration where quantity was prioritized over quality care, this by increasing counselor workloads at the expense of the quality of mental health service offered to veterans living with PTSD.

Lt. Col Blickwedel never intended to be a whistleblower. Once speaking truth to power, he was at the receiving end of retaliation, isolation, gaslighting, mobbing, false accusations, character assassination. His relentless and tireless pursuit of speaking truth to power has been successful and has led to the expectation that Congressional legislation will pass at the end of this fiscal year. This legislation will hold the VA leadership accountable to prevent this situation from continuing to occur.

When Former Marine Captain Jerome R. Strayve, Jr. Jerry was reunited with Lt. Col.Blickwedel 42 years after they were together at training camp, said upon the meeting: When Ted came to me with his story, I was aghast. Not in disbelief of the veracity of what had happened, but that it had happened again! Having experienced the military’s medical community’s callous lack of compassion for active-duty personnel and their families, I felt compelled, honored, and driven to help Ted write his shocking story.

The collaboration between Blickwedel and Strayve led to the June 15, 2022 release of their book, Broken Promises, written to create awareness and advocacy for veterans and the counselors. The desired outcome of the book is to work cooperatively with the Veterans Administration to enact policies and procedures that will ensure quality mental health services for veterans as well as to protect the mental and physical well-being of their counselors.

Broken Promises: www.vabreakingpromises.com

Phyllis Ayman Ambassador for Conscious Aging Life Management and #1 WSJ and USA Today Best Selling Author, Podcaster

Phyllis Ayman is the Ambassador for Conscious Aging Life Management, and founder of Mindful Longevity Solutions. She coaches individuals to develop their Personalized Longevity or Wellness Care Plans so they can live as healthfully, happily ,and fulfilled as they possibly can. As an aging life careplanning coach and mediator, she guides families to make decisions and mediate challenging conversations around aging care issues. She conceived and owns the trademark IMpathy®, essentially the inner game of empathy, which the hallmark of her proprietary programs.

Ayman is a #1 WSJ and USA Today Best Selling author, featured speaker, panel moderator, trainer, advocate gerontological speech/language pathologist and dementia care specialist. She spent over 40,000 hours working with thousands of individuals and families in long term care. Her writings have been featured in Next Avenue, McKnight’s Long Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living, and the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioner Newsletters.