Mental Health Care for Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 28, no. 1, May/June 2009, p. 771-782

Posted on RAND.org on April 30, 2009

by M. Audrey Burnam, Lisa S. Meredith, Terri Tanielian, Lisa H. Jaycox

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Despite recent efforts to increase access to appropriate mental health care for veterans returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, many challenges remain. These include veterans' reluctance to seek care, insufficient mental health workforce capacity and competency in evidence-based practice, and inadequate systems support for improving care. These broad challenges must be addressed across the Veterans Health Administration, the Department of Defense, and community-based care. Policy reform will require federal leadership to engage health plans, professional organizations, states, and local communities in strategies to improve veterans' access to high-quality services.

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