Veterans with PTSD, depression not getting careNews added by Benefits Pro on February 23, 2016

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Jack Craver

The U.S. is falling way short of its obligation to treat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.

That’s according to a recently-released study by RAND Corporation, which found that the quality mental treatment for current and former service members varied dramatically throughout the country.

Although the Military Health System is good at identifying PTSD in veterans and informing them of their condition, it’s far from certain that those suffering will receive the appropriate treatment following the diagnosis, the study reported.

Only about a third of veterans with PTSD received the recommended four counseling sessions with a psychologist in the two months following diagnosis.

And only about a quarter of those diagnosed with depression did four consultations in that timeframe.

“A high proportion of service members with PTSD or depression received at least some psychotherapy, but the number of visits appear to be inadequate to allow delivery of evidence-based psychotherapy,” said the report.

And while plenty of veterans are receiving recommended prescriptions for depression, most of them (60 percent) are not following up with a physician.

That means nobody is assessing the effect of the medication on the patient, including whether he or she is taking the meds as prescribed or is experiencing any concerning side effects.

“The Military Health System (MHS) generally performs well in the areas of initiating psychotherapy and follow-up after hospitalization, but is inconsistent or weaker in the areas of medication management and ongoing care,” stated the report.

The MHS does much better, however, in making sure that those who are hospitalized for psychiatric disorders receive the needed follow-up are, the report noted.

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