Mental Health

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) once known as “shell shock”, a vague condition affecting war veterans

An estimated

22

veterans die by suicide each day

30%

of all veterans have considered suicide

37%

of Iraq and Afghanistan know a veteran who has died by suicide

More than

339,462

services members have sustained a TBI since 1990

Mental Health

Mental Health Concerns

There are three primary mental health concerns that you may encounter serving in the military. While there are more the most concerning and reported are as follows

Postraumtic Stress Disorder-Post Tramatic Stress Injury (PTSD/PTSI).

Tramatic Stress Injury (PTSD/PTSI). Traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, disasters or sexual assault can have long-lasting negative effects such as trouble sleeping, anger, nightmares, being jumpy and alcohol and drug abuse. When these troubles don’t go away, it could be PTSD/PTSI. PTSD recent studies show it has been recorded to be 15 times higher than civilians.

Depression

More than just experiencing sadness, depression doesn’t mean you are weak, nor is it something that you can simply “just get over.” Depression interferes with daily life and normal functioning and may require treatment. A recent Psychiatry study found the rate of depression to be five times higher than civilians.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

A traumatic brain injury is usually the result of significant blow to the head or body. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, memory problems and mood changes and mood swings. A TBI may lead to short- or long-term health problems.

Depending on the severity of the injury, those who get a TBI may face health problems that last a few days or the rest of their lives. For example, a person with a mild TBI or concussion may experience short-term symptoms and feel better within a couple of weeks or months. And a person with a moderate or severe TBI may have long-term or life-long effects from the injury.

A person with a possible TBI should be seen by a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may have treatment to help speed your recovery.

Most people with a mild TBI or concussion can recover safely at home following a medical check-up. People with a moderate or severe TBI may need ongoing care to help with their recovery.

Who Should I Tell?

Service men and women owe it to their fellow service members to stay in good mental as well as physical health. If you’re concerned about a possible mental health condition—or if you enter the armed forces with a past or present mental health condition—know that the armed forces do not require service members to disclose mental health problems to their chain of command. The responsibility for deciding whether to disclose your condition does fall on the medical officers and care providers you consult. They receive training on military policies concerning the confidentiality of protected health information (PHI). Here are some people to consider speaking with.

Confidential counselors

Confidential counselors are available for service members and their families through Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647. If you’re unsure whether to seek treatment or if you someone you know might need treatment, they are an excellent first stop for information and advice.

Behavioral health care providers

Behavioral health care providers working at primary care clinics are available on many military bases so you can seek a specialist’s advice without leaving base. And at some bases, you can find convenient

Primary care providers

Primary care providers can be helpful for discussing concerns and treatment options.

Embedded Behavioral Health teams

Clinics separate from traditional medical facilities