Families blame vet suicides on lack of VA care
Mon Jun 11, 2007 02:45
 

 
Families blame vet suicides on lack of VA care
Hospital shortcomings, long waits, mental health stigma part of problem

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18908471/

[SNIP]
‘We're trying to reach out’
For service members returning from combat, post-deployment health assessments include a questionnaire with queries about mental health. This year, the Pentagon expanded health monitoring for war veterans to include another screening three to six months after combat.

“We’re trying to reach out,” said Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army’s acting surgeon general. “Will we get to everyone on time? No, I wish we could.”

Pollock said the Army is expanding a program started in January at Fort Bragg, N.C., which aims to lessen the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. It brings behavioral health staff directly into primary care clinics instead of making soldiers go to a separate mental health facility for help.

Earlier this month, a Pentagon task force warned that the military health care system is overburdened and not sufficient to meet the needs of troops suffering from PTSD and other psychological problems. The panel called for a fundamental shift in treatment to focus on screening and prevention instead of relying on troops to come forward on their own.
CONTINUED: Report identifies shortcomings
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18908471/

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Families blame vet suicides on lack of VA care
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18908471/page/2/


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults such as rape or mugging, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. PTSD can be extremely disabling.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18908471/page/2/

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