The idea that soldiers need help from psychologists and psychiatrists was frowned upon by the state for a long time. But the fact that many of them experience PTSD and other traumas on the mental level when they return from the battlefield is a proof that they need some form of help during the service.
One of the biggest headlines of this decade has to be “HSS student to enter the United States Air Force Academy.” This news tells everyone that military top is finally doing something regarding the mental health of their soldiers.
The hell on the battlefield
The army teaches soldiers that they are superior to their enemies. They learn that showing weakness isn’t something an American soldier should do. Those poor souls keep everything bottled in because they don’t want their comrades to think that they are afraid of the war. The result of this is only seen when those people finish their time on the battlefield. Mental issues of active soldiers surface when they return home. This is why phrases like “bring the war home” exist. They can’t resolve their mental problems in the army, and therefore they bring them home.
A sad fact about veterans is that 22 of them commit suicide every single day. That is an alarming fact which the government and the army ignored for a long time. Soldiers come home from the battlefield, but the battlefield never leaves from their heads. They don’t receive the necessary help in the army and thus the problem they have to follow them to their homes. They have to deal with PTSD, depression, flashbacks, anxiety, and insomnia on their own, without any professional help. In the past, and even now, army tends to abandon those that served in it for several years as soon as they retire.
How did it come to this?
The addition of HHS graduates into the army is a big step toward solving the mental issues of active soldiers. News about this didn’t gather a lot of attention in the mass media even though they should have. Army has been a conservative part of the government up until the last year. The fact that soldiers will have an opportunity to talk with professionals and address mental issues that plague them is a game-changing fact that will have a positive effect on the moral of the army.
All of this started back in 2008 when The Department of Health and Human Services aka HHS began talks with the Department of Defense about the increase of mental health services that the soldiers receive when they return from the battlefield. It took more than five years for results of those talks to bear fruit.
The idea to send professionals with knowledge about mental health to war zones is new, and it probably won’t produce any results in next several years. But, the fact that said professionals are entering military academies is a step forward. If this trend continues then the suicide rate of veterans will go down as they will deal with their issues in the army rather than bringing them home.