Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

3 Bumps

Mental health of U.S. soldiers in a freefall, can you take a minute to contact your rep and tell them THIS is a priority?

New York Magazine reporter Jennifer Senior has a wrenching report on the growing mental-health crisis among American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. With military suicide rates rising to unprecedented heights—to the point where more soldiers are now dying by their own hand than in combat—Senior finds that many soldiers end up combating their own mental afflictions in isolation. Often, she notes, they end up falling out of social networks of support, dependent on a bevy of prescription anti-depressants and sleep aides to make it through each day. A spokesman at Fort Drum, home to the 10th Mountain Division here in New York State, tells me by e-mail that one-quarter of its 20,000 soldiers have "received some type of behavioral health evaluation and/or treatment during the past year." Defense Department spending on Ambien, a popular sleep aid, and Seroquel, an antipsychotic, has doubled since 2007, according to the Army Times, while spending on Topamax, an anti-convulsant medication often used for migraines, quadrupled; amphetamine prescriptions have doubled, too, according to the Army's own data. Meanwhile, a study by the Rand Corporation has found that 20 percent of the soldiers who've deployed in this war report symptoms of post-traumatic stress and major depression. The number climbs to almost 30 percent if the soldiers have deployed more than twice.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:50 PM on Feb. 7, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (20)

  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110207/us_yblog_thelookout/report-mental-health-of-u-s-soldiers-in-a-freefall




    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:50 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • If you haven't yet seen the heartbreaking story of James Blake Miller—the so-called "Marlboro marine" pictured above—we strongly recommend that you read it here.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jul/02/usa.paulharris
    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:51 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • SInce 2006 The Military has been doing studies and reworking mental health screenings. Pre-deployment screenings are working, "A military study found that improved screening reduced later behavioral problems by 78% and reduced thoughts of suicide by more than half.


    "Suicides among soldiers serving on active duty decreased modestly in 2010 for the first time in six years"


    Is it perfect? No. Is it improving? I believe so. Most commanders I know ENCOURAGE counseling upon return from deployments. it isn't frowned upon to ask for help. It's about the INDIVIDUAL taking the steps.

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:18 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • Is it perfect? No. Is it improving? I believe so. Most commanders I know ENCOURAGE counseling upon return from deployments. it isn't frowned upon to ask for help. It's about the INDIVIDUAL taking the steps.

    I also think its about the military as a whole addressing it. Modest decline after YEARS of record climbing don't encourage me if nothing else is being done. I see non military groups are now reachng out as well....which is a positive step
    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:20 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • I also think its about the military as a whole addressing it


    The military has been addressing it MORE since 2006 in comparison to the 10 years before... The military even started an 800 line for troop and their dependents to see a Dr "downtown" (civilian) for NO CHARGE, to help with initial assessment~ so they wouldn't feel awkward going to on-base facilities. The help IS improving... I think if you were in the military in 1995 vs today, 2011 (and not relying on media reports)~ you would note the improvements..... It's not perfect, but long strides have been made.

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:26 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • The military has been addressing it MORE since 2006 in comparison to the 10 years before...


    I agree...and I am not relying on media reports


    http://www.military.com/military-report/mental-health-survey-results-released

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:34 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • If there are any military members or family members looking for help, I would suggest calling Military OneSource 1.800.342.9647. Army can also call Army Behavioral Health  800-424-7877..  Other numbers are  National Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-TALK (8255)..  Other links for military/AD

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 2:37 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • The bigger concern should be when these military members get out of the military (whether it be by medical board.. or retirement or just the end of their term of service).. And they go to apply for VA benefits... they get stuck in the VA healthcare system... and that is far more deplorable and disgraceful to our veterans...

    ESPECIALLY when it comes to the VA Hospitals and clinics that don't even offer long term therapy for our veterans. Nope... all they offer is "here's some drugs--okay bu bye now"

    That's it.

    And yes, the numbers are bound to be on a rise for mental health issues, the depth of the scars that these members or our armed forces are coming back with....And a system that cannot serve them... for a war there is now way we can win it... Troops are over tasked... deploying, coming home, deploying again... The stress alone can drive someone crazy.

    (c)
    Randomosity2

    Answer by Randomosity2 at 2:52 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • (c)
    But nobody really gets to see how the VA treats our veterans unless you are married to a veteran or are a veteran yourself.

    The system just can't care for them, but they don't offer any health insurance to our veterans that have honorably served and were honorably discharged. Nope, their only choice is the VA hospital and they are just not equipped to handle the influx.

    I know cause I am a veteran, and I waited in an ER with a severe migraine for over 6 hours... when they finally took me back there was a man sitting in the hallway with blood pouring out of his nose..right there in the hallway. So this is why I say that the treatment is totally Deplorable.

    And yes, you got an influx of troops coming back that are going to end up in the same system...And unfortunately they won't listen to just one voice...
    Randomosity2

    Answer by Randomosity2 at 2:56 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • they get stuck in the VA healthcare system... and that is far more deplorable and disgraceful to our veterans...


    VA Med Ctr's are a totally different entity..... Sad....  

    grlygrlz2

    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 3:01 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.