The Stigma Remains:

Despite an increase in public awareness about the post-combat stress seen in troops returning from the war on terror, the Congressionally chartered DOD Task Force on Mental Health in its just-released report says the stigma associated with seeking mental health care “remains pervasive and is a significant barrier to care.” The task force notes that the war has created “unforeseen demands” on service members, their families, and DOD resources. It points to the war on terror’s two “signature injuries”—posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury—as exposing “shortfalls” in military healthcare. Among its recommendations: make psychological assessment procedures “an effective, efficient, and normal part of military life;” make prevention, early intervention, and treatment “universally available,” maintaining “continuity of care across transitions;” allocate staff according to need and ensure an adequate supply of military providers.