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Behavioral Health Fact Sheet



What's different about the war today?

  • One in every four people in the U.S. has a connection to the Military
  • 1.5 million Service Members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • 90% of wounded Service Members survive their injuries
  • A greater percentage are coming home with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and severe posttraumatic stress
  • We have an all volunteer Military that includes significant numbers of National Guard members and Reservists
  • Nearly half of all active and reserve members experience multiple deployments
  • In this era of high-tech and constant communication, Service Members remain in constant contact with their Families even when deployed
  • We are involved in unconventional warfare - no front line, IEDs(improvised explosive devices), no down time, constant vigilance

What's the impact on our Service Members?

  • Over 75%of Service Members surveyed report having been in situations where they could be seriously injured or killed
  • More than 62% of them knew someone who was seriously injured or killed
  • Mental health isone of the three most common health issues reported
  • 38% of Service Members and 31% of Marines report having psychological symptoms
    • The percentage rises to 49% of National Guard Members
    • Psychological issues rise significantly among those with repeated deployments

Doesn't the Military provide health services to address these needs?

  • Of the 1 million returning Service Members eligible for VA services, 45% have sought care
  • 56% of those Service Members reported possible mental health issues
  • Mental health is one of the three most common health issues reported
  • Mental health issues include PTSD, depression, psychoses, neurotic disorders, and drug and alcohol dependence or abuse
  • A silent majority of Veterans (55%) are either not getting services or are getting them outside the VA
  • 33% of Veterans live in rural/highly rural areas where there is not a VA facility

How is the war affecting Service Member families?

  • The well-being of Service Members is inextricably linked to the well-being of their Families
  • In a study of 250,000 women married to active duty Service Members, 36% reported having at least one mental health diagnosis
  • Extended separations, increased responsibilities at home, and recurring deployments contribute to increased stress, anxiety and depression
    • Military children often experience higher levels of anxiety and a higher risk of depression; many have more difficulty focusing at school


Sources:
DMDC Data, January 2009
Quadrennial Quality of Life Review, Who Are Military Troops and Families? January 2009
Treating the Invisible Wounds of War, Harold Kudler, M.D. & Charlotte M. Wilmer, MSW, LCSW www.aheconnect.com/citizensoldier
Painting a Moving Train, Harold Kudler, M.D., Department of Veterans Affairs, and LCDR Erin Simmons, US Navy, February 2010