Thursday, February 25, 2010

US Military Affirms Focus on Mental Health

Military Leads Mental Health Care Transformation
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2010 – The United States is in the middle of a “cultural transformation” in mental health treatment led by the Defense Department and the military services, the department’s top mental health expert told a congressional panel today.

Mental health resilience “is fundamentally underlying everything we do,” Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton told the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Sutton, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, testified along with Dr. Ira Katz, chief of the Veterans Affairs Department’s mental health services, during a committee hearing on suicide prevention.

In 2009, there were 312 confirmed suicides among servicemembers, of which 26 were in the reserve components, according to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Sutton said in testimony submitted to the committee. The data shows those particularly at risk were white men younger than 25, with a rank at or below E-4 who were divorced and had not graduated from high school. Other common factors, as mirrored in the private sector, included substance abuse, relationships, legal or financial problems.

Read the whole piece here.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
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