New Hampshire Enacts Mandatory Mental Health Screenings for Returning Soldiers
The “Reunion and Reentry” program of the New Hampshire National Guard requires soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq to undergo mental heatlth testing to determine which soldiers might be suffering adverse combat related effects including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The centerpiece of the regimen is compulsory one-on-one personal counseling with a mental health professional.
The goal of Reunion and Reentry is to give soldiers access to therapy and counseling while avoiding the stereotypes that some might associate with mental health wellness. Colonel Deborah Carter, a human resources officer with the New Hampshire Guard elaborates on the program, “We were looking for a comfortable environment where soldiers could have a place to talk about dark times during transition. We wanted to make sure soldiers knew what the normal transition things are.”