You are a SPECIAL Librarian! You are a Military Librarian!

Tag Archive | "mental health and substance abuse"

Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime

Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor (via SSRN)

During the period 2001-2009, four combat brigades and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were based at Fort Carson, Colorado. These units were repeatedly deployed during the Iraq War, allowing us to measure the effect of arguably exogenous changes in troop levels on violent crime in El Paso County, where Fort Carson is located. Our results suggest that never-deployed units contributed to community violence in the form of assaults, murders, and robberies. In contrast, estimates of the relationship between the number of previously deployed units and violent crime are generally small and statistically insignificant. We conclude that soldiers returning from combat do not represent a special threat to public safety.

Posted in Links of InterestComments Off

American Legion releases report on TBI and PTSD

Legion releases report on TBI and PTSD
Source: American Legion

The American Legion released a report on Sept. 11 that is the culmination of a study the wartime veterans organization did on current treatments and best practices for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The report, entitled “The War Within,” includes findings and recommendations based on comprehensive research, conducted from January 2011 to February 2013, by an American Legion ad hoc committee chaired by William Detweiler, past national commander of the Legion.

Detweiler said the report shows that while the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use a number of traditional medical treatments for TBI and PTSD cases, “they have not done a lot of research on alternative methods. There’s no simple answer to what works as far as PTSD or TBI is concerned, but we found that the (DoD and VA) medical profession shied away from certain things which they considered to be alternative medicine.”

For example, Detweiler said that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one alternative treatment that “works for some people. It’s not the answer for everybody, but (DoD and VA) have shied away from putting any serious money into doing studies.”

Posted in Links of InterestComments Off

Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy

Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy
Source: RAND Corporation

Awareness of military sexual assault — sexual assault of a servicemember — has been increasing within the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD is striving to improve this situation, but unique conditions of life in the military may make response to these events more difficult than within the civilian sector. This paper reviews the prevalence of sexual assault among servicemembers, victim responses in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, barriers to disclosure, victim needs, and DoD efforts to provide necessary resources to victims. The authors review civilian guidelines for the care of physical injuries, response to STI/HIV and pregnancy risk, forensic services, advocacy and support services, and formal mental health care. They then review DoD directives, forms, and guidelines for sexual assault victim care, revealing that these generally are consistent with civilian guidelines. However, little is known about the fidelity with which these DoD recommendations are implemented. The authors close with recommendations for future research to support the DoD’s commitment to a culture free of sexual assault, including a comprehensive, longitudinal epidemiological study of military sexual assault, a needs assessment of disclosed and undisclosed military victims, an evaluation of the training enterprise, and an evaluation to document the extent to which DoD directives requiring immediate, evidence-based care for military victims are being implemented with fidelity.

Posted in Links of InterestComments Off

CRS — Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Problems in the Military: Oversight Issues for Congress

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Problems in the Military: Oversight Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Military servicemembers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and depression, as well as military suicides, continue to be a major concern of Congress. Numerous legislative provisions have been enacted over the past years to address these issues. Members will likely seek to offer legislation in the 113th Congress to address this complex set of issues. This report is intended to provide assistance in understanding the issues associated with psychological health in the active duty forces, potential congressional responses, and what questions may remain unanswered.

Key points in this report include the following:

  • mental disorders such as PTSD are poorly understood and in most cases cannot be physically identified but, rather, must be diagnosed using symptoms reported by the servicemember;
  • estimates of the prevalence of mental health conditions in any given population may be greatly affected by the methodology used;
  • diagnoses of mental health conditions among active duty servicemembers have increased substantially relative to non-deployed servicemembers. This increase may be due to the psychological toll of exposure to conflict, but may also be due in part to increased and improved screening methods as well as Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment that might dissuade some servicemembers from reporting mental health concerns or accessing care; and
  • reliable evidence is lacking as to the quality of mental health care and counseling offered in DOD facilities. A 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study recommended that DOD undertake efforts to measure the effectiveness of efforts to improve quality, such as training providers in evidence-based practice, that are not integrated into the system of mental health care offered in DOD treatment facilities.

Significant areas for potential congressional oversight activities regarding psychological health in the active duty forces include the following:

  • research into the causes and physical manifestations of psychological health conditions, screening tools, and treatments;
  • the effectiveness of screening and treatment efforts;
  • servicemembers’ access to mental health care, including efforts to reduce the stigma of seeking mental health care, waiting times for care, staffing levels of mental health treatment professionals, mental health care available in remote or deployed settings, and care available to de-activated Reserve and Guard members;
  • the quality of mental health care available to servicemembers, including the use of appropriate and effective treatments by qualified mental health treatment professionals;
  • oversight of ongoing program evaluation efforts, including evaluation of the variety of suicide-prevention, stigma-reduction, and transition assistance programs within the services and DOD; and
  • the costs of mental health care for active duty servicemembers, including present costs through the Defense Health Program, as well as the future costs of mental health care once servicemembers are no longer part of the active duty forces.

Posted in Links of InterestComments (1)

RAND Corp: Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy

Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy
Source: RAND Corporation

Awareness of military sexual assault — sexual assault of a servicemember — has been increasing within the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD is striving to improve this situation, but unique conditions of life in the military may make response to these events more difficult than within the civilian sector. This paper reviews the prevalence of sexual assault among servicemembers, victim responses in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, barriers to disclosure, victim needs, and DoD efforts to provide necessary resources to victims. The authors review civilian guidelines for the care of physical injuries, response to STI/HIV and pregnancy risk, forensic services, advocacy and support services, and formal mental health care. They then review DoD directives, forms, and guidelines for sexual assault victim care, revealing that these generally are consistent with civilian guidelines. However, little is known about the fidelity with which these DoD recommendations are implemented. The authors close with recommendations for future research to support the DoD’s commitment to a culture free of sexual assault, including a comprehensive, longitudinal epidemiological study of military sexual assault, a needs assessment of disclosed and undisclosed military victims, an evaluation of the training enterprise, and an evaluation to document the extent to which DoD directives requiring immediate, evidence-based care for military victims are being implemented with fidelity.

Posted in Current Affairs, Links of InterestComments Off


Blog Archives