In response to the ever rising number of breakdowns, suicides and various other mental health problems, Army Secretary John McHugh has asked Army officials to finish a plan for an overhaul of the coordination of Army mental health services.
In recent years the suicide count has continued to increase, with an additional 15 percent in 2012, or a total of 349 suicides in all branches of the armed forces. This continued increase of mental health issues has prompted the Army to overhaul the way it dispenses mental health services, and coordinates its various efforts. There are already a large number of services that the army uses to help servicemen with mental health problems, however, Secretary McHugh said, there is widespread confusion about what is available and interventions do not come early enough. McHugh’s effort is the product of a yearlong review of the Army’s mental health system designed to ensure that these services are easily accessible.
Army Behavioral Health
As mental health professionals, we at Sovereign Health understand how important accessible mental health services are, and how frustratingly difficult they can be to coordinate. Even for small organizations and hospitals, coordinating the right kind of care can be an infuriating process, certainly exacerbated by the size and scope of the army’s requirements. However, we also recognize that servicemen and women are a particularly vulnerable group to mental health issues, being under consistent and severe stress throughout deployment while lacking many forms of support. To this end we applaud Secretary McHugh’s efforts to speed up the overhaul of the army’s coordination as a means to better help those who daily protect our freedoms. While we are optimistic about these developments, we continue to stress the importance of ensuring that this process is handled speedily and effectively in order to bring proper treatment to many of those who need it most.
Listen to how Sovereign Health can help with mental health issues like depression: