Many veterans return to the country after the war with mental health and behavioral challenges because of their experiences on the battlefield. They usually have physical and mental wounds and scars that take time to treat and heal (Asnaani, Reddy, & Shea, 2014). Previous data revealed that about one-third of veterans returning home from battles, such as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), exhibited signs of cognitive or mental health issues. Two of the common problems under those categories include Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which require comprehensive and sometimes long-term care to overcome (The Mental Health Needs of Veterans, Service Members and Their Families, n.d,). Besides, the families of veterans struggling with mental health issues also suffer the impact of the separation and later caring challenges for the troubled loved ones. As a result, they might also suffer from mental health problems. Although many veterans experience various mental health problems after they return into the country, mental health services in the country remain insufficient; hence, it is imperative to enhance their care to enable them and their families have a productive life.
The research “The Mental Health Needs of Veterans, Service Members and Their Families” is relevant to the veteran population because it creates the need for mental health services necessary to live a healthy and productive life. The article contains critical information about the nature of the mental health problems that affect veterans returning to the country. Veterans experience traumatic events that have a long-term impact on their mental wellbeing (Reeves, Parker, & Konkle-Parker, 2016). The source informs the audience about two of the most common mental health challenges that affect veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), also referred to as the “signature wounds.” The prevalence rate of these negative effects of war ranges between 19.5 percent and 22.8 percent for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and up to 24.4 percent for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The article relates to veterans and their families, particularly the types of mental health challenges that affect them after serving in and returning from war. Many veterans with mental health problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have comorbid mental health diagnosis, some with alcohol abuse or dependence and suicide and suicidal ideation (Trivedi et al., 2015). The article is important to the veterans because it communicates to mental health professionals about the issues affecting this population in their access to mental health care. In addition, various risk factors for PTSD are evident, which mental health care professionals should understand and address to provide effective care to veterans. Among the risk factors is military sexual trauma, which is common among the population.
The research has implications for mental health service providers, including a small psychiatry private office practice. The article includes information about the problems that the healthcare organization might face when working with veterans and their families. For example, a psychiatry private office practitioner is highly likely to encounter and provide care to patients with suicidal thoughts. Besides, the practitioner is likely to treat patients who have attempted suicide due to mental traumas relating to the war experience. Furthermore, they should understand the need for comprehensive treatment because some veterans experience the long-term consequence of war traumas and related effects.
The article is comprehensive; however, essential information is necessary to improve care for veterans and their families. The article lacks adequate information about the actual impact of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the military personnel. For example, the work does not include the related mental and behavioral challenges, such as depression and anxiety, and their real effect on the affected persons. Such information is useful in designing effective treatment approaches to help veterans overcome such problems. Besides, the article does not indicate the actual effect of mental health problems on veteran families as they struggle to provide care and support to the wounded soldiers. Notably, such information is necessary to develop effective interventions targeting veterans and their families.
As it is evident from the above analysis, veterans returning to the country after the war have wounds and scars that are challenging to treat, especially based on the inadequate mental health services in the country. Their families have a huge burden of caring for their loved ones who have physical and mental wounds without adequate support from other sources such as the veteran healthcare services. In addition, various mental health challenges are evident, which affect veterans due to the experience with war and military sexual traumas, such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other serious health issues, such as alcohol and substance abuse, as well as suicidal thoughts, usually accompany mental health challenges. Regardless of the negative mental health outcomes for veterans and their families, mental health workforce that should enhance the patient outcomes for the affected population is still insufficient.