Veterans & Active Duty
Nearly 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Psychiatry. On this page we focus on questions that military personnel often ask, concerning treatment resources, disclosure and staying healthy during the transition to civilian life. If you are having thoughts of suicide, the Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 by dialing 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1.
Mental Health Concerns
There are three primary mental health concerns that you may encounter serving in the military.
- Postraumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, disasters or sexual assault can have long-lasting negative effects such as trouble sleeping, anger, nightmares, being jumpy and alcohol and drug abuse. When these troubles don't go away, it could be PTSD. The 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found the rate of PTSD to be 15 times higher than civilians.
- Depression. More than just experiencing sadness, depression doesn't mean you are weak, nor is it something that you can simply "just get over." Depression interferes with daily life and normal functioning and may require treatment. The 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found the rate of depression to be five times higher than civilians.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury is usually the result of significant blow to the head or body. Symptoms can include headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, memory problems and mood changes and mood swings.
Active and retired members of the armed forces do not necessarily have to go through the VA to get assistance for PTSD and other related issues.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
To speak confidentially with a Vet Center Counselor at any time around the clock call:
Make the Connection, The U.S. Government's resource guide for veterans.
NAMI partner programs like Army One Source and Make the Connection provide much-needed help for veterans and for those who treat them and their families. Read more on nami.org