By On November 16th, 2007

Delayed Mental Health Problems in Returning Iraq Veterans

A study released by the Department of Defense has noted that it may
take six months or more for mental health problems to emerge among
returning Iraq veterans. In a study of 88,000 soldiers, a six month
follow-up revealed a higher number of individuals with PTSD,
interpersonal conflicts and referrals for mental health problems. In a
study released 20 months ago, officials at Walter Read reported 19% of
the returning veterans with mental health problems. The new report
showed an alarming jump in veterans reporting inter-personal conflict,
PTSD and depression. There was a significant variance in the mental
health needs of active military versus the reservists and National
Guard troops.

As more individuals are returning from the conflict in Iraq and
Afghanistan we are seeing an alarming increase in the mental health
problems our veterans are bringing home. Can the military meet the
needs of our returning soldiers? Will services be available for
soldiers who develop problems in the months and, possibly years
following their separation from the military? There are currently more
questions than answers.

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