Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 14, 2009

V8-21

Failing the stress tests?

By Megan McCloskey, Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — With an estimated 20 percent of U.S. servicemembers returning from war zones suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a burgeoning suicide rate in the ranks and occasional murder or other extreme outbursts of violence, the Pentagon is scrambling to grapple with the mounting psychological fallout from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Combat stress clinics have been set up near the front lines. Troops in training are learning how to gird themselves against mental troubles. Officers are required to watch for signs of suicide risks among their subordinates.
But in a vast military organization obsessed with metrics and measuring every aspect of its performance, experts say there is one glaring gap: The Pentagon has no system in place to evaluate whether its downrange crisis interventions are actually working. Read More…

Also in the news:
Veterans Seek Better Mental Health Treatment Through Court
Though mental health has at its core the best interests of those working through their difficulties, it is often set back by issues in regulation, administration, funding, and other aspects which have little to do with the process of healing itself. Such complications can lead to delays in treatment, which can in turn become major issues when those in need of professional help are left unassisted. This problem is the focus of a lawsuit being brought against the Department of Veterans Affairs by veterans themselves, who claim that treatment is largely inaccessible and inadequate, and that previous efforts in negotiations have fallen short of effecting any meaningful change.

Congressman says Veterans deserve better treatment
Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., discussed his “pro-veteran, anti-war” views on veterans’ affairs with around 90 College Democrats on Thursday night.

Mental Health Program to help Guard, Reserves
Mental Health America of Hawaii is launching a program called “Healing the Trauma of the War” to address combat stress, depression and other needs of returning National Guard soldiers and Reservists. “We’re going to do a review of what happens when they return home and who is falling through the cracks.”

Command Shares Suicide Prevention Experience
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Three senior leaders shared their experiences with suicide prevention and answered questions from service members during an open-forum suicide prevention meeting at the east Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center Sept. 10 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

Mentally Ill often adrift in the Criminal Justice System
“The mental health system in this community has become the criminal justice system.”

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