DOD Mental Health System Under Microscope:

Lawmakers want to see improvement in how the Defense Department handles mental health care, including capitalizing on existing “best practices.” In the spring nine of them asked the GAO to review DOD screenings, diagnoses, referrals, and treatment of service members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health conditions associated with serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. On May 1, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) also asked GAO to provide recommendations for legislative or administrative action that would help with the improvements. Now the GAO informs the Senators they will be conducting three studies regarding veterans’ health issues. The Congressional watchdog agency expects to complete the first study by December, followed by study designs for the second by September and the third by November.