Of Mental Disorders among US Veterans

3413 WordsFeb 3, 201814 Pages
Of recent Veterans entering the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, over 30% are diagnosed with a mental disorder. One of the most common diagnoses is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), given to 52% of those receiving mental health diagnoses [1, 2]. Moreover, an estimated 41% of Veterans enrolled in VA care reside in rural settings, including a disproportionate number of younger Veterans and female Veterans returning from the wars in the Iraq/Afghanistan regions (Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom [OEF/OIF] ). To meet the needs of the changing Veteran population, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is tasked with increasing access to and utilization of mental health services for geographically and culturally diverse Veterans. The exponential advancement in society’s use of technology, and the resultant field of e-mental health, provides a great opportunity to surmount current barriers many Veterans face when accessing mental health care. A number of resources have been developed to meet the needs of Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, yet few studies have examined willingness to use technology-based mental health treatment approaches within a sample of ethno-racially and geographically diverse veterans who served after September 11, 2001. Recent research has revealed that the majority of Veterans with a mental disorder under-utilize mental health services [3]. Among OEF/OIF Active Duty Veterans, only 23-40% of those with mental
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