As if the embattled Walter Reed Army hospital didn’t have enough on its plate with charges of neglect and poor patient care. Now Anne Hull and Dana Priest of The Washington Post detail the lack of proper mental health care for returning soldiers in today’s edition. It’s a heart-wrenching article that just makes me mad at the short shrift mental disorders, like posttraumatic stress disorder, get in virtually all health care systems (the government isn’t alone here in treating mental health like a second-class citizen).
The problems are well-known and have been going on for decades. Too little budget for too few mental health professionals, like psychiatrists and psychologists, and too little one-on-one individual psychotherapy time because there just isn’t enough resources. Instead, soldiers needing personal psychotherapy care are shuffled into groups. And while group psychotherapy can be very effective for many maladies and mental health issues, for PTSD, it is generally not as helpful without significant individual one-on-one time with a trained therapist.
Bravo to the Post and its writers for continuing to shine a bright spotlight on the needs of our returning veterans, and doing so with a thoughtful, touching, and well-written article.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Jun 2007
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2007). Soldiers Grappling with PTSD at Walter Reed. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/06/18/soldiers-grappling-with-ptsd-at-walter-reed/