Military Mental Health

Inside the White House Struggle with Condolence Letters and Suicides

White House aides emphasized Friday that President Obama’s announcement this week to send condolence letters to some troops who commit suicide was designed to patch a hole in a policy President Obama inherited. It’s part of a broader effort to recognize and address the common mental wounds of war, but it is also starting to feel to …

Number of Homeless Vets Dropping Sharply :-)

Reports about struggling veterans are usually grim, so it’s always nice to trumpet good news: the number of homeless veterans in this country has been cut nearly in half between 2004 and 2009, according to a new Congressional Research Service report just released by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists (such …

Controversy Grows over Obama’s Military Suicide Condolence Letters

Some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families are vexed by the seemingly arbitrary, location-based limits of a new White House policy to use condolence letters to acknowledge military suicides as legitimate casualties of war.

The disappointment is particularly palpable among family of troops who committed suicide after …

Limboland – Day 351

Looks like I goofed. Last week I wrote here that I had submitted my claim for VA benefits ten months ago. That’s not quite right. Mea culpa. To correct the record, I submitted my claim over eleven months ago, on July 21, 2010. My claim has languished in the VA’s Baltimore office for 351 days. I promised to keep readers updated on the …

White House Suicide Condolence Letters for Troops Exclude Most Deaths

A new White House policy to send condolence letters to the family of troops who go to war and commit suicide excludes the vast majority of those soldiers and their families, undercutting President Obama’s stated effort to defray the stigma associated with mental health problems from combat. The loophole has also disappointed veteran …

A Mixed Message about Stigma in Military Mental Health Care

The military keeps talking about eliminating stigma related to seeking mental health treatment. Then why don’t they change the policies that promote it?

To decrease stigma, the Army now uses the term “behavioral health.” The Defense Department – of which the Army is a part — prefers “psychological health.” They have …

What a Dog Can Do for PTSD

When we did a story last year on what a boon dogs are becoming for troops coming home from the wars with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Luis Carlos Montalvan was one of the soldiers we interviewed. He served as an Army captain in Iraq, where he garnered the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart — as well as a …

Ahoy! The Doctor Will See You Now…

Two new voices here on Battleland — both important. Both historic. Both women.

Our newest Battleland crew member is retired U.S. Navy commander Darlene Iskra. Not only was she the first woman ever to command a Navy ship, she’s also been an answer — or is that a question? — on Jeopardy (check it out here — she’s the $1,600 clue …

Limboland

It’s been over ten months since I filed my application with the Veterans Administration for benefits related to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. That’s three hundred or so days waiting to find out if one part of the VA – the Veterans Benefits Administration – agrees with another part of the VA – the Veterans …

Fixing the Human Wreckage of War

Thousands of soldiers, gravely wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, become as much as they can be through months of rehabilitation in the Army’s Warrior Transition Units. Every once in awhile a story pops up about how things fells apart for a specific WTU soldier. But most troops — somewhere around 80% — give their WTUs good grades, …

On the Front Lines: Better Living Through Chemistry

We reported on the growing use of prescription drugs by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq more than three years ago. The Pentagon is finally catching up. It wants to spend $23 million next year for drug testing to make sure troops aren’t illicitly taking legal drugs like Valium and Vicodin.

But the House Appropriations Committee has …

PTSD and Veterans: Jobs Are What Is Needed

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been a controversial diagnosis since its inception. Originally called by many names (“compensation neurosis”), it was not officially given the name PTSD until well after the end of the Vietnam War. By then, many veterans with PTSD also were bedeviled with substance abuse, joblessness, and …

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 12
  4. 13
  5. 14
  6. 15
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,106 other followers