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Veteran & Military Mental Health Conditions: What You Need to Know

During military service, service members are often exposed to violence, threats to personal safety, and other traumatic events. These experiences can significantly impact the mental health of active duty service members and veterans.

According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, approximately 1 in 4 active duty service members show symptoms of a mental health condition. This makes it even more important to understand the benefits of veterans therapy and the mental health concerns that service members may be facing. Increased awareness of veterans and mental health care can make it easier for people to access the care they need. When people serve in the military, they’re separated from family members, friends, and other forms of social support, often for extended periods.

Military service also requires people to work in stressful or traumatic environments, facing combat stress and other factors. As a result, service members face many risks, including the risk of physical harm. In addition to the challenges faced during service, post-traumatic stress disorder can make it difficult for veterans to transition to civilian life.

Relationship struggles, social exclusion, personality disorder, and homelessness are all problems encountered by veterans, and these issues severely impact mental health. Military service is a sacrifice that puts many people at increased risk for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. One study found that nearly 25% of non-deployed, active-duty military members show symptoms consistent with a serious mental health condition.

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AAP Recommends Mental Health Screening for All U.S. Youth
June 22, 2022Pediatricians should perform mental health screenings on all children and adolescents, evaluating for depression, anxiety, and suicide risk, says a new draft recommendation issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).1 A response to the growing mental health crisis among youth, this AAP guidance recommends screening adolescents ages 12 and up for major depressive disorder and youths ages 8 and up for anxiety, even in the absence of documented symptoms.Earlier this year, the AAP recommended universal screening for all kids age 12 and older for suicide risk; for kids aged eight 8 to 11, screening was recommended only when “clinically indicated,” such as when warning signs were present.John Piacentini, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, called the AAP draft recommendation important because “anxiety in children is often less easily identified than other disorders, such as ADHD, which can delay treatment.” Left untreated, he said, anxiety is associated with increased risk of depression, self-harm, substance use, and other health risks in later life.The AAP joined the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in drafting the screening recommendations and in noting a need for further research on evaluating younger children for mental health conditions.