It is known that service members and Veterans will not seek services in fear of being labeled. Outreaching and educating others in the current resources available, and how seeking help it is not a “weak” thing to do, will far outweigh the benefits versus having a mental health diagnosis untreated.
Collaboration is the key word. Integrating the service member’s family, and health care providers in understanding the service member’s difficulty in this transitional period, will provide the much needed supports to reassure the veteran that he/she needs treatment and in doing so it is the right thing.
Specialized healthcare as well as an influx of mental health providers is much needed to attend to the returning Veterans.
To keep in mind that this was a correlational study. Exposure to a traumatic event does not cause PTSD or any other anxiety disorder.
To highlight in this study the negative correlation; repeated exposure to trauma, also allows for rapid recovery (resilience).
Closer look to the Transitional Period of returning Combat Veterans Argosy University Carol Builes
Veterans in much need of services The present wars Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), OperationEnduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) haveleft unprecedented psychological harm to thousands of soldiersand Veterans. As a nation, we are striving to ensure that this population hasaccess to resources, specifically much needed mental healthservices. On the other hand, the stigma that accompaniescombat Veterans in seeking help stems from the concern ofbeing labeled as “weak” by their peers and/or superiors; thus,posing a threat to their military careers and the end result in notseeking services.
Re-Entry and Reintegration servicesDoyle and Peterson explain that re-entry andreintegration, “the return home and reunion with familyand community” are fundamental to the success of thesoldier for the remaining of the deployment.Veterans and service members face many difficulties whenreturning from deployment. This period of readjustmentand transition and the immediate expectancy of returningto what their lives were before deployment can be verychallenging and life-changing for some.Furthermore, a collaborative approach in treatment thatincludes educating the service member’s family andmental health professionals on this transition period, willprove to be of “maximal benefit to the Soldier.”
Another study focused on the post-deployment needs of military personneland related problems as reported by family members. Some of these needspresented as specialized healthcare, for example for those diagnosed with atraumatic brain injury (TBI). Other notable needs were social disruptions, inabilityto transition to their pre deployment lifestyle, employment issues, and othermental health related problems such as substance abuse and depression. In theirfindings, suggestions and initiatives were presented to provide much neededservices to military personnel and outreach to the remote increase accessibilityto these resources (Zeber, 2010).
Specialized HealthcareSpecialized healthcare is also needed for the returning combatSoldiers who are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries(TBI’s). This can be a challenge in itself due to accessibility tospecialized treatment and the lack of providers. Recentliterature and studies conducted on this topic, all suggests thatthe needs for re-entry and reintegration services arenecessary for the success of the service member to transitionback to their Garrison-Soldier life (state side) and/or civilianlives.
Mental Health ServicesCompilations of studies were summarized in a study conductedby the military to observe the predominance of post-traumaticstress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers of the recent wars; itwas concluded in their findings that service members whoexperienced a higher degree of combat exposure, were morelikely to develop PTSD, “Scientifically rigorous evidence *asdemonstrated by data] that war-zone deployment leads toincreased symptoms of PTSD symptoms” (Zeber et al. 2010).
In a study conducted by Schok, et, al 2010, an individualapproach to study each service member personalresources, self-esteem, and ability to recover (resilience)and transition to their daily activities following adeployment. The data was collected throughquestionnaires with a sample size of 1.561 servicemembers that had experienced combat.In their findings, it was reported that higher resiliencypredicted less distrust in others, “more personal growthand less intrusions and avoidance after militarydeployment.”
In all, reintegration services that includehealthcare, mental health services to treatsubstance abuse, counseling for the servicemembers and spouse, psychotherapy forthose diagnosed with PTSD, and otherpsychosocial services such as vocationalrehabilitation and housing are vital in helpingthe service member transition to their civilianlives and/or continue with their militarycareers.
Doyle, M., & Peterson, K. (2005). Re-entry and reintegration: Returning home after combat. Psychiatric Quarterly, 76 (4).Gambardella, L. (2008). Role-Exit theory and marital discord following extended military deployment. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 44 (3).Griffith, J. (2010). Citizens coping as soldiers: A review of Deployment stress symptoms among reservists. Military Psychology, 22, 176-206King, L.A., King, D. W., Vogt, D.S., Knight, J., & Samper, R.E. (2006). Deployment risk and resilience inventory: A collection of measures for studying deployment-related experiences of military personnel and veterans. Military Psychology, 18, 89-120
Kirby, S.N., & Naftel, S. (2000). The impact of Deployment on the retention of military reservists. Armed Forces & Society 26 (2).McFarlane, A. (1989). The etiology of post-traumatic stress morbidity: Predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors. British Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 221-228.Rodrigues, C., & Renshaw, K. (2010). Associations of coping processes with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in national guard/reserve service members deployed during the oef-oif era. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24 (7), 694-699.Schok, M.L., Kebler, R.J., & Lensvelt-Mulders, G.J.L. (2010). A model of resilience and meaning after military deployment: Personal resources in making sense of war and peacemaking experiences. Journal of Aging and Mental Health, 14 (3).Vasterling, J.J, Proctor, S.P, Friedman, M.J, Hoge, C.W, Heeren, T, King, L.A & King D.W (2010). Ptsd symptom increases in iraq- deployed soldiers: comparison with nondeployed soldiers and associations with baseline symptoms, deployment experiences, and postdeployment stress. Journal of traumatic stress, 23(1), doi: 10.1002/jts.20487Zeber, J.E., Noel, P.H., Pugh, M.J., Copeland, L.A., & Parchman, M.L. (2010). Family perceptions of post-deployment healthcare needs of Iraq/Afghanistan military personnel. Mental Health in Family Medicine, (7), 135-43.
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