Mental Health Care In Veterans

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These brave men and women have given everything they can to protect our freedoms. So why can we not provide them with better mental health care? Once enrolled in a VA program, veterans cannot receive health care through an outside provider. This being said, there is a long waiting list for participants to receive mental health care.
While there have been some advances in shortening the wait, there is still an average 26 day wait for mental health appointments (Erpenbach). Approximately one-third of troops returning from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a total of about 546,667 veterans, have reported symptoms of a mental health condition (Invisible). Troops who were deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi
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This is especially true for those who have seen combat. In soldiers returning from Iraq the rates of mental health symptoms were 20% for PTSD, 18% for anxiety, and 15% for depression. It is of utmost importance, given the popularity of mental health issues among veterans, to advocate the treatment and diagnosis of such illnesses in returning veterans. The problem is that many of said veterans to not seek the treatment that would possibly help them cope with what they saw in war. As stated by the theory of planned behavior, decisions can be traced to a person’s beliefs about that behavior. In one study the behavior was identified as “seeking mental health treatment from a physician or mental health specialist for the treatment of mental health concerns within one year after returning from the war in Iraq…show more content…
Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, wrote on the matter stating that, “No more veterans should be com pelled to agonise or perish while the government fails to perform its obligations.” Reinhardt also said, “The United States constitution confers upon veterans and their surviving relatives a right to the effective provision of mental health care and to the just and timely adjudication of their claims for health care and service-connected death and disability.” Of the approximate 550,000 thousand who placed disability claims hundreds of them go with delayed treatment or even without. Reinhardt noted that out of 800 community-based clinics there was not a single suicide prevention officer. On top of that most facilities do not even have a system to track those veterans that are potentially suicidal. During the Bush administration no plans were made to assist returning veterans who needed treatment, similar can be said of Obama and every other president since Reagan and before. They have all promised to do something to help veterans, but it never fails the the “budget people” come back to say that any improvement would be too

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