Could these recommendations impact on gun control and if so how?
Mental Health Task Force Outlines Needed Changes. Members of a year-long study group pulled no punches in highlighting significant shortfalls and recommending major changes in the way the military and VA handle mental health issues.
Mental Health Task Force Outlines Needed Change
The DoD Mental Health Task Force released its final report June 15, and its observations and recommendations mirror those MOAA delivered in testimony late last year.
The 14-member task force spent a year compiling and evaluating research data and testimony from experts and advocates, and conducted site visits to 38 military installations worldwide. It found that:
Mental health problems carry a stigma that remains pervasive in the military and deters those who need care from seeking it.
Service members and their families don't have the access to mental health care that they need.
The military system doesn't have enough funding or qualified personnel to adequately support the psychological health of military people and families in peace and war.
The task force emphasized that it will take a determined leadership effort at all levels to build a culture of support for psychological health. That includes providing the needed resources to ensure a full continuum of excellent care for members and families and empowering leaders to take needed positive action.
Above all, the group highlighted the urgent need for action to address two "signature injuries" from the current conflicts - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). They said the mission of caring for mental health has changed, and the current system must be restructured to reflect these changes.
MOAA applauds the Task Forces' blunt assessment of the state of military mental health care and agrees that leadership, education, and resources are equally crucial to address the problems. We simply must make it a major priority to increase the capacity of the system to deliver care. And we must motivate leaders, troops, and families to appreciate that destigmatizing, facilitating and encouraging mental health treatment is essential for the long-term well-being of military families and military units alike.