Saturday, July 09, 2011

OT: Veterans and mental health


Indulge me in a slight change of subject this morning, to the very real problem of health care for veterans. Specifically, mental health care.

It's well known that veterans who return from war struggle with a slew of mental health issues. And it's very well known that suicide is a major problem among active-duty personnel and vets, as this editorial in the New York Times points out. There were more than 295 suicides last year among active-duty soldiers. Kudos to President Obama for at least starting the process of, as he put it, "destigmatizing the mental health costs of war."

But we need to ramp up the conversation. We need to keep talking about the issue of war and mental health. We need to acknowledge that war damages people, that veterans struggle, and we need to do more to help them once they've done the dirty work of fighting for us. This blog explores some of the issues. Please take a minute to visit and leave a comment, and tweet the link to the blog. It's time we talked about it.

11 comments:

Jen said...

There are all sorts of reasons why we need to ramp up this important conversation. First and foremost, for the returning veterans who've been pushed aside for far too long. Second, for all the folks in this country who have brain disorders who aren't getting equitable treatment. And third so that funding will be shifted TO research in brain disorders to get to the bottom of so many biologically based illnesses.

Harriet said...

Well said.

azhe'n said...

Jen is right on. TBI (traumatic brain injury), PTSD, lung issues from the burning pits are only 3 of the numerous issues facing our vets. The quality of care for these people has GOT to go up.
Harriet, you can't know what a blessing you are for all of us. My heart is huge.
with gratitude and
always lovingly

vivienne edwards said...

I just shared this on FB. Bless you for making this issue more visible. Sadly the VA are NOT dealing with this problem and in many cases making it worse. As a caregiver for a disabled woman Veteran I walk a fine line for her safety. Thank you.

Guantes De Latex said...

Well i believe every individual should treated equally and everyone's rights should be under approachable situation.

Cozy in Texas said...

Mental health seems to be brushed under the table in all sectors. I recently applied for individual health insurance and most of them do not include mental health. Sad state our country is in - we need to take care of our soldiers.
Ann

Lea said...

Veterans in this country come in two flavors: those who demand their care, and those who act nicely about obtaining it. For eating disorders, there is no care in the military when it's anorexia. Bulimia gets managed because of secondary complications, but anorexia is seen as a choice, not as a by-product of PTSD.

Frightening state of affairs, and thank you for spotlighting this mental health care need, and in getting help for those who served. We are the home of the free, BECAUSE of the brave.

Thank you, Harriet.

JaNae C. said...

I think that the soldiers who have fought for our country have not been given the respect and medical treatment they deserve for far too long. It is a shame that mental health issues are not covered in medical insurance plans, especially with the amount of deaths reported last year. We as a country need to take a stand and give our soldiers the support and treatment they need from the damages, physically and mentally, they endure in battle. Also, we need to show support to the families of those soldiers, especially the families who have lost a loved one. I commend President Obama for beginning to shed light and condolence to our soldiers as well as the families of those soldiers.

Anonymous said...

I have a cousin whose husband spent 2 yrs I'n Afganistan .
He received the metal of Valor for last mission. We are all very proud of him. My son will be going next year as an F -16 pilot, has already been twice as crew chief. I can't imagine not having to go thru war situations without some kind of mental trauma. I owe my freedom to them as we all do. They deserve the best medical care this country can offer. Thankyou for your recognition on your website
Laura from Toledo

The Dandelion Girl said...

I always used to check your blog from time to time... but then didn't (my life has been crazy as of late), so I've been going through posts I missed and I'm sad I missed this one.. I'm actually a veteran and got kicked out of the military for having an eating disorder that got incredibly bad while I was in... a friend of mine whilst in tried to take her own life twice (was hospitalized after each attempt) ... so I'm no stranger to this issue

Harriet said...

So sorry to hear it, Dandelion Girl. I hope things are better now.