Veterans Are Only Part of the Challenge

Our active-duty military is in the midst of a mental-health crisis: the suicide numbers are climbing and the volume of psychotropic medications prescribed is multiplying. While both President Obama and Mitt Romney have plans to improve the overall military mental health system, they seem to focus too much on veterans (who do need the help), but with scant attention paid the active-duty force. My question to both is simple: with nearly a troop-a-day dying at his or her own hand, what are your plans to stop this epidemic?

Marjorie MorrisonComment
Counselor Teaches Marine Corps Drill Instructors About Stress and Mental Health Warning Signs

A few weeks ago, my best friend called me at 7 am. Although we talk almost every day, it was unusual for her to call so early, so my heart skipped a beat when I picked up the phone. All I could hear on the other end of the line was sobbing. When she finally caught her breath she uttered, “My nephew just killed himself...

Our Military Mental Health Crisis: A Case for Proactive Counseling

From 2005 to 2010, service members took their own lives at a rate of about one every 36 hours.There are currently more deaths in the military by suicide then killed in combat. Suicides in the US Army increased 80% in 2004 to 2008.

This increase corresponds with the beginning of combat operations in Iraq in 2003. Although everyone is scratching their heads to try to figure out what to do, if the government's solution is to throw more money at for-profit insurance companies in exchange for contracting military mental health programs, I don't think we are going to see those numbers decline anytime soon. Unfortunately, our country is still very reactive with regards to mental health and in my opinion those attitudes need to shift to a more proactive approach.

Suicide Crisis: Why the Military Needs Mandatory Mental-Health Services

As the Army grapples with a record suicide rate, it held an unprecedented service-wide stand-down at bases around the world Thursday to dedicate the full day to mandatory suicide-prevention training. This came after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared that lowering the rate of suicide in the military is a top priority,saying “leaders ought to be judged by how they lead on this issue."

Military Mental Health: An Outsider Takes a Peek Inside

Marjorie Morrison is a San Diego psychologist who took time out of her busy private practice to provide “pro-active” mental-health counseling to more than 500 Marines at the recruit depot there. Such counseling removes stigma – because everyone gets it, no one feels “different.” It’s designed to prevent mental-health ailments before they begin, instead of trying to fix them after they’ve taken root and disrupted lives. She details her fight and frustrations with  the military’s mental-health bureaucracy in a new book...