ORIGINAL OP-ED — Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, writes in the Pasadena Star-News that research supports the idea that “trepidation about receiving psychiatric care” prevents veterans from getting help for psychiatric problems.
A 2004 study of 6,000 military men and women involved in ground combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan found that of those whose responses indicated a mental health problem, only 23 to 40 percent sought psychiatric help. Many who did not seek treatment cited fear of being stigmatized as a reason.
Rosenberg is encouraged by the recently signed Veterans Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act, and she outlines a number of practical actions people can take to help veterans get the help they need and deserve.
On this Veterans Day, whether we are a veteran, family member, friend, co-worker or simply a concerned citizen, we all need to make sure we continue to fight the stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment.