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Military Bonds Draw Veterans to Mental Health Jobs
Image: – – Veterans Info Site
by: Rob Kane
Veterans have turned to psychology to become mental health professionals, and they’re filling in gaps in veteran care that government and civilian efforts have left open. And while they are still rare, programs to train them are slowly emerging at universities and nonprofit organizations around the United States.
It’s no secret the U.S. military has struggled to adequately support its troops after they leave active duty.
A large number of service members suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An estimated 11% to 20% of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from the condition, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
That’s between 220,000 and 400,000 of the 2 million troops deployed since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
A new study (PDF) shows that only about half of U.S. service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD received any treatment for it.
And statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs show that about 18 veterans commit suicide every day.
The VA has stepped up efforts to expand care and recently announced plans to hire 1,600 more mental health professionals and 300 support staff members to help meet the increasing demand for services.
But some former active-duty service members aren’t waiting for help to arrive.
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