United States Military and Mental Health/ The Facts

 

For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd.

http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

A-Z-AMBASSADOR-2014-211x300

 

 

 

 

 

Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a list of all of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Today’s letter is the Letter U

A-Z Letter U

 

 

 

 

United States Military and Mental Health/ The Facts

More than two-million Americans have served in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least twenty-percent of them are now experiencing PTSD.

While battle related deaths are down, we are now losing veterans in increasing numbers to suicide. The VA has been struggling to keep up with and to recognize those military personal that are in great need of mental health services.

If you are a veteran in crisis or if you know of a veteran in crisis, please call 24/7:

 800-273-8255 and press 1 OR text 838255, also 24/7 for live help.

These services are free to active military, veterans and their families.

A-Z Challenge Photo VA Hospital Phila.

Quick Statistics

There were 9.2 million veterans aged 65 and older. On the other end of the scale, 1.9 million were under 35.

There are 7.8 million Vietnam veterans (35% of all living veterans served during this era), 5.2 million who served during the Gulf War, and 2.6 million World War II veterans.

PTSD and Mental Health

1 in 3 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will face a serious psychological injury. Nearly 1 in 5 veterans has been diagnosed with PTSD.

300,000 troops have been deployed to the Middle East at least three times. Multiple tours increase rates of combat stress by 50%.

12% of high level combat troops in Iraq and 17% in Afghanistan take prescription antidepressants or sleeping medications.

Only about 50% of those screening positive for PTSD or major depression seek help.

Healthcare for a veteran with PTSD costs 3.5 times as much as care for those not diagnosed with the disorder. Treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD who served in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost more than $2 billion so far.

Suicides among U.S. troops are up 18% since 2012, averaging nearly one a day—the highest they’ve been since the war on terror began a decade ago. Suicide has risen to the highest noncombat death toll among soldiers.

Veterans account for 20% of all U.S. suicides, and younger veterans—aging from 17 to 24—have suicide rates four times higher than other veterans.

A number of PTSD diagnoses have been linked to military sexual trauma (MST), defined as sexual assault or harassment that occurred during a veteran’s service. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 100 men have admitted to suffering MST. Due to social stigma against harassment and assault victims, it is likely that there are many more victims who choose to remain silent.

75% of veterans of the war in Vietnam have experienced drug, alcohol, or mental health problems. Over 40,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been treated for drug abuse, though it is likely that there are thousands more who avoid treatment.

Sources: Face the Facts USA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Veterans for Common Sense, Truth Out, IAVA, Disabled World, LA Times

 

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