WASHINGTON: As PTSD cases surge, Army overhauling mental health services
April 17, 2015
As part of within the military system and fewer referrals are being made to private facilities. At Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), teams of counselors are “embedded” within soldiers’ units, in an approach that the Army has decided to promote broadly. The goal of this program is to make it easier for soldiers to seek help, and to give care providers an ongoing relationship with the people in the unit they serve. “The whole shift in behavioral health is being able to say, ‘I am your behavioral health provider for your battalion, I know where this battalion has been,’” said Tim Hoyt, an Army psychologist at JBLM. Leaders of the program say it has been well-received, but there are also concerns about the reduction of services available to soldiers outside of the military system. Without the confidentiality guaranteed by outside providers, servicemembers may be reluctant to share information that they fear may harm their military careers.
Spark Extra! To learn about recent findings on suicide risk in the Army, check out a special three-part research summary published in the Spark in the spring of 2014.