Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mental Health Crisis For American Troops

CBS News:
The Pentagon's top health official said Thursday he wants to see better mental health assessments, stronger privacy protections and a "buddy system" to change the military's stigma against seeking help for anxiety and depression.

Speaking to Congress as the military rushes to improve its much-criticized mental health system, S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, also acknowledged that the Army's touted plans to hire 25 percent additional mental health specialists may prove hard to fulfill for awhile because of problems in recruiting and retaining active-duty professionals.
This is astonishing:
About 38 percent of soldiers and 31 percent of Marines report psychological conditions such as brain injury and PTSD after returning from deployment. Among members of the National Guard, the figure is much higher — 49 percent — with numbers expected to grow because of repeated and extended deployments.

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