Facebook is a new and largely unexplored avenue for recruiting veterans for clinical studies. The successful use of Facebook as a recruitment tool for this study suggests that it can be an effective method for reaching veterans in need of care.
Young veterans are at risk for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance misuse. About seventy percent of veterans screened had behavioral health conditions, but only one-third received adequate care.
Symptoms of depression and PTSD increase risk for alcohol use and consequences in part by increasing symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia may be an appropriate target for prevention and intervention efforts among heavy-drinking veterans reporting symptoms of depression or PTSD.
Veterans screened for both insomnia and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who would consider care had a preference for in-person counseling. Those screened for insomnia and depression had similar preferences for in-person and mobile app-based/computer self-help treatment.
Taking periodic breaks from marijuana use or avoiding using marijuana before work or school may be important protective strategies for young veterans who choose to use marijuana to cope with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Veterans who received General and Other Than Honorable discharges were significantly more likely to screen positive for generalized anxiety disorder, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and hazardous alcohol use than those who received an Honorable discharge.
The attitudes of military personnel about drinking predict their future drinking behaviors and may be key to understanding the relationship between normative perceptions about drinking and drinking behaviors.
Low distress tolerance—the capacity to experience and withstand negative psychological states—may be a factor in linking comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol misuse among veterans.
Veterans underutilize mental health services. Targeting perceived public stigma of treatment seeking, through perceived norms interventions, might help narrow the gap between the need and receipt of help among veterans.
Reaching veterans to learn more about their mental health care seeking poses a conundrum. They are typically recruited for studies in clinical settings, so those who are not seeking care are not represented. Facebook may be a viable method to reach them.