As I was driving home this afternoon, I was lucky enough to have caught this story on NPR: Missed Treatment: Soldiers With Mental Health Issues Dismissed For ‘Misconduct’
The story is horrifying. The military discharges their faithful soldiers who have fought in some of the toughest situations and as a result are suffering. To just go see a counselor or psychologist in this country is a great accomplishment. The stigma associated with receiving mental health services is tragic and likely prevents thousands of people from seeking mental health services each year.
When is the VA going to be held accountable for the proper treatment of soldiers and veterans?
From personal experiences with people in my life, the VA psychologists are not there to help soldiers and veterans get treatment. They are there as a backstop; a barrier built between those who fought for freedom and their own personal freedom. The psychologists often minimize experiences, feelings, and seriousness of the mental health crisis.
The VA will offer individuals seeking mental health services the opportunity to participate in a support group where participants are encouraged to regale the room with their war stories. Soldiers and veterans experience enough of their own war stories in their waking life and in their nightmares. Why would you ever want to send someone back to a war zone? Rehashing the events of a war does not suddenly make it make sense. War is stressful, tragic, and often very graphic.
These men and women need to receive treatment fit for someone who put their life on the line for others. Help them move forward from what has occurred.