Returning Soldiers and Marines Seeking Mental Health Care

Army psychiatrist Major Geoffrey Grammer spent a year in Iraq helping soldiers cope with combat, He himself was shot at, and was a target of mortar explosions.
"It was one of those times where you sit there any you day, I can't believe this is happening to me, I don't have any other choice but to sort of wall this off and move on and tend to the mission at hand."
But eventually soldiers must deal with their combat experiences. Dr. Charles Hoge and colleagues at Walter Reed
Army Institute of research studied about three-hundred thousand military service members who returned home from Iraq, Afghanistan or other deployment locations between two thousand-three and two-thousand four.
"his study shows that soldiers who are returning from Iraq that a higher percentage of those soldiers report mental health concerns and use mental health services when they get home from Iraq compared to soldiers who are returning from deployment to Afghanistan or other locations."
That's because soldiers in Iraq see more frequent and intense combat. About 20-percent reported mental health concerns, but ultimately more than that, about one-third received mental health evaluations or counseling in the first year home.
As Clinical Social Worker for the Veterans Hospital here in Reno, Cara Kozak helps counsel many local vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan--she says Walter Reed's numbers closely compare to those here only on a much smaller scale. She says those coming in for medical care may talk about depression, " Not liking the same kinds of things they like prior to deployment..many activities a lot of people like to fish and hunt when they come back they really have no interest in that maybe some inappropriate aggression or withdrawl, or isolation."
According to local V-A statistics, a total of three-hundred-54 patients have returned aND gone through the local system.
33-percent of them were seen for mental conditions.
Because early treatment makes a big difference in mental health, the military is making a big push to get soldiers mental health care as soon as possible.