Our active duty military carry invisible wounds of war. Our service members and veterans are at risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, substance use disorders, and depression. In fact, the number of suicides by military service members now exceeds the numbers killed in combat during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
But the American Psychiatric Foundation refuses to let this reality remain into the future.
Improving Treatment for Combat and Operational Mental Health Problems is one example of how our research studies have led to improved mental health care for military service members. Based in part on initial findings from this research, the Army implemented a new policy in April, 2012 for the assessment and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Another research study, A Comprehensive Approach in Dissemination of Evidence Based Care for PTSD, pioneered the introduction of electronically administered behavioral screening measures into the military’s electronic health record system. The new workflow procedure facilitates assessment, diagnosis and treatment for service members suffering from PTSD, depression and alcohol use problems.
But research is not a large enough contribution to military mental health. So, compelled by these research findings, the Foundation began a partnership Give an Hour, which provides mental health services to U.S. troops and their families. As a part of this partnership, APF helps to enlist mental health providers to offer free services to military service members and their families, while promoting the need for these efforts to a broad national audience.
When the American Psychiatric Foundation partnered with the Healthy Minds television series on PBS station WLIW in New York, it collaborated to produce three epsidoes. The first focused on military mental health, and was titled PTSD: Helping our Troops. The episode can be viewed here.
Through these efforts, the Foundation is proud to be providing impactful services to our active and veteran military service members.