Mental Health Care for Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans

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

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

Read More

Access further information on this document at Project HOPE

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.