Cover: Improving Behavioral Health Care in the Military Health System

Improving Behavioral Health Care in the Military Health System

Challenges, Promising Strategies, and Research Directions

Published Nov 16, 2023

by Kimberly A. Hepner, Carol P. Roth, Nabeel Qureshi, Jessica L. Sousa

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Ensuring that service members have timely access to high-quality behavioral health (BH) care is a priority for the U.S. Department of Defense and essential to ensuring the health and readiness of the force. The Military Health System (MHS) provides health care to service members, their dependents, and military retirees, and the Defense Health Agency oversees health care delivery. To support the MHS in its mission, the authors highlight opportunities to improve the quality, access, and equity of BH care delivery: increasing access to BH care, ensuring effective integration of virtual BH care, focusing on the quality of BH care delivered by private-sector providers, and prioritizing racial and ethnic equity in BH care.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted by the Personnel, Readiness, and Health Program of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

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