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Charting U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Progress on Meeting Mental Health Needs of Our Veterans

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Uploaded on Nov 27, 2011

Charting U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Progress on Meeting Mental Health Needs of Our Veterans - mars-6:hrs06VA334_090430 - Cannon 334 - Committee on Veterans Affairs - 2009-04-30 - Subcommittee on Health. Mr. Michaud: We are here today to talk about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) progress on meeting the mental health needs of our veterans. Specifically, we will be discussing issues of funding and implementation of the Mental Health Strategic Plan and the Uniform Mental Health Service Handbook. Many in this room are familiar with the daunting statistics on mental health from the April 2008 RAND Corporation Report on "Invisible Wounds of War." The RAND Report estimated that of the 1.64 million Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) servicemembers deployed to date, about 18 percent suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, and about 20 percent likely experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment. In addition, the report showed that despite our current efforts about half of our servicemembers are not seeking and receiving the mental health treatment that they need. This raises serious concerns about the long term negative consequences of untreated mental health problems, not only for the affected individuals but also for their families, their communities, and our Nation as a whole.

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