James G. Fausone
Earlier this year, the RAND Research Corporation published their study on the state of affairs for military veterans in the Metro Detroit area. More specifically, the purpose was to identify and propose solutions to the issues that veterans with mental health issues face when seeking out healthcare.
The most common barrier to treatment shared by veterans was the lack of awareness of available resources and treatment options. Other issues included: the difficultly of navigating the VA health care system; poor public transportation infrastructure in Metro Detroit; negative perceptions held by family members and VA medical staff toward veterans and their mental health issues; and finally lack of awareness that a mental health issue existed in the first place.
Unfortunately, this study was neither innovative nor impressive; it simply offers lofty goals but no plans on how to reach them or how each fits within the Metro Detroit culture. The RAND Corporation should take the study a step further to address issues and propose solutions for each of the three counties that make up Metro Detroit.