Terri Tanielian, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND and an internationally recognized expert on military and veteran health, spent six months as a fellow with the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She helped the committee develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.
Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.
It is not uncommon to see a co-occurrence of PTSD and heavy use of substances, which can rise to the level of a substance use disorder. It may be necessary to challenge how the needs of veterans are addressed to remove barriers to care that make treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously so difficult.
This weekly recap focuses on the debate about reopening schools, how a decline in commercial real estate demand could help address the housing crisis, challenges facing the U.S. unemployment system, and more.
The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.
A decade of research at RAND has sought to focus the national conversation about suicide in general, and veteran suicide in particular, around solutions that work. The overwhelming message: We could do more to save the lives of veterans like Daniel Somers. Here is his story.
Almost a third of U.S. veterans live 40 miles or more from the nearest VA medical center, so the VA is trying to make it easier for them to use private providers closer to home. But it will take significant efforts to better prepare civilian doctors to deliver high-quality care to veterans.
Millions of veterans and service members receive care from family and friends who need support as well. Military caregivers sacrifice their time, their jobs, and even their health to provide a service worth billions of dollars to the United States.
Too few of the veterans who experience mental health issues get the help they need. Even fewer get the right care. Closing these gaps will require raising awareness about the barriers to care, and changing how the mental health care system is organized and delivers services.
To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.
The VA is considering expanding the role of nurse practitioners in order to provide veterans timely access to primary-care services. Research has shown that nurse practitioners working in collaborative settings can provide high-quality care.
The Veterans Choice program was designed to expedite veterans' access to health care and relieve pressure on the VA system. Before making the program permanent, the VA should better understand its effectiveness.
A stronger TRICARE program that provides greater value-based care in a more efficient manner could result from adopting innovations made in the private sector, while also recognizing the unique role of military treatment facilities.
Today, women represent approximately 15 percent of the U.S. military but research on their specific physical and psychological health issues has remained relatively sparse. A new book, Women at War, attempts to change that.
Thanks to a growing list of more than 100 organizations that have pledged their commitment as members of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's National Coalition for Military Caregivers, our nation is taking long overdue action to support both our wounded warriors and those who care for them.
Collaborative care has been an important part of Army efforts to reach out to those struggling with PTSD and depression. It has brought a science-based solution to an essential military problem and has helped thousands of men and women in uniform in ways that also nudge the larger mental health system toward greater effectiveness for all Americans.
This Veterans Day, the United States especially honors the millions of veterans living with service-related illnesses and injuries. But it's also important to recognize the sacrifices of those helping them to recover and thrive: America's 5.5 million military caregivers.
On November 11, we honor the service and sacrifices of America's veterans. But as they return home and adjust to civilian life, veterans and their families face new challenges and communities struggle to meet their unique needs. Rigorous research is essential to addressing these challenges and finding long-term solutions. RAND explores key issues concerning veterans such as employment, health and well-being, family support, and education.
Ill or injured military personnel and veterans and people with dementia are unique populations, but they give us a preview of the enormous long-term care challenges Americans will face in the decades to come.
Last week, President Obama signed a bill to overhaul care provided by the Veterans Health Administration. This is an important step, but attention to veterans' experiences receiving care, particularly veterans in need of mental health and substance use care, should be an essential component to ongoing efforts to improve quality.
Not all veterans wish to seek services at or through the VA, and many may not meet eligibility criteria. The VA is a critical component of the health care delivery system for former U.S. servicemembers, but it cannot and should not comprise the system alone.
America shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who care for the wounded. Rachel O'Hern tells the story of her life as a military caregiver, one of millions of spouses, family members, and friends who support service members and veterans with physical or emotional injuries or illnesses.
The landscape for caregivers remains very difficult. Many still need additional training on how to best provide care for their loved ones, respite so they can care for themselves, and other forms of support.
Right now there are 5.5 million wives, husbands, siblings, parents, children and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars. Theirs is an all-consuming, emotionally draining task, one that has been driven for too long by loyalty and love, but little support.
A world without military caregivers would be a harsher one for all, particularly for those who have served. Military caregivers' sacrifices improve the lives of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, more of whom would suffer without them.
The needs of U.S. veterans will not end when the war does; they will just be beginning. Though over a lifetime veterans are more highly educated, employed, and paid than their civilian counterparts, the period of reintegration can be challenging.
Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.
If Congress wants to save Medicare, it can start by driving waste and excess out of the system. This can be done without impoverishing patients or driving doctors out of business, if physicians are willing to practice smarter, more efficient medicine. Spending on prescription drugs is a case in point.
Military families play a critical role in supporting U.S. servicemembers during deployment and afterwards. Equally vital but often less visible is the role played by those who care for the servicemembers who return with disabling injuries or illnesses and require long-term support beyond what the formal health care system provides.
Bernard Rostker and Ross Anthony, RAND senior economists with expertise on Gulf War Illness (GWI), discuss a study by scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center that suggests the symptoms of GWI are biological in nature, and a GWI study RAND conducted more than a decade ago.
To celebrate our first 60 years, we created '60 Ways RAND Has Made a Difference,' an online book to illustrate our most notable contributions. On our 65th birthday, we provide five of the most recent ways in which we at RAND are proud to have made a difference.
The act of caring for a veteran takes a physical, mental, and economic toll on caregivers and their families. Giving caregivers the skills and resources they need to cope and thrive should be as much a priority as giving veterans medical care.
Former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, a RAND Trustee and Health Advisory Board member, published an open letter to President Obama in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week in which he asks the president to use his executive power to address the problem of medical errors.
As the nation struggles to confront the twin challenges of rising healthcare costs and uncertain quality, we should be willing to embrace innovative practices wherever they exist, whether they are developed in private, for-profit health care systems or so-called
Delivery of evidence-based care to all veterans with PTSD or depression would pay for itself—or even save money—within two years by improving productivity and reducing medical and mortality costs, writes Terri Tanielian.
Providence Journal, GlobalSecurity.org, and The San Diego Union-Tribune
As America starts its ninth year at war, more than 32,000 U.S. service members have already been wounded in action in Iraq and about 3,500 in Afghanistan. Will U.S. resolve to strengthen care for wounded Americans be maintained, asks Ralph Masi.
Nearly 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan service veterans who have returned home -- about one in five -- may suffer from combat-stress-related mental health problems. Our veterans ought to get the best available treatments our nation can offer, but they don't, write authors Terry Schell, Terri Tanielian and Lisa Jaycox.