The American Journal of Public Health reports that more veterans are now seeking treatment for mental health issues. According to the July 2014 report, veteran use of mental health services has increased by 94 percent over the last decade.
Unfortunately, treatment does not ensure that veterans are feeling any better. A new study, commissioned by the American Legion, suggests that nearly two-thirds of veterans report no improvement or worse symptoms after treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The organization is calling for a larger, multi-step research program to confirm these findings and develop effective long-term solutions.
But the study also found that 30 percent of veterans stopped treatment before the end of their treatment plan.
The consequences of dropping out of treatment can be dire. A recent House Veterans Affairs Committee heard the testimony of parents whose sons, struggling with PTSD and TBI treatment, had committed suicide.
The American Legion has argued that more professionals must be trained specifically to treat PTSD and TBI. A new federal bill will provide loans for those pursuing a career in mental health with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Many veterans affected by PTSD and TBI do not even seek treatment. But getting more veterans into treatment may not matter if the quality of care cannot be improved. As veteran Army sergeant Josh Rensler testified before the House Committee, “[The VA] must dramatically improve its mental health care delivery. Access is an issue, but we have to ask ourselves, “Access to what?””
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC fights for veterans rights. We fight to make sure you get the benefits you deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more or contact an attorney about your Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, Mental Health, Sexual Assault, Hearing Loss and Tinnitus, Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability, Medical Malpractice, or Aid and Attendance claim, visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/ or call 800.693.4800