The government is in a beg, borrow and steal mode...not enough between the VA and Department of Defense for soldiers returning home...volunteers have to commit for one hour a week for a year....nearly 200 in the Los Angeles area have volunteered and growing...BD
WASHINGTON - Thousands of private counselors are offering free services to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health problems, jumping in to help because the military is short on therapists.
"No one who goes to war comes home the same person," said Patrick Campbell, a medic for an infantry unit who served in Iraq in 2004-2005. "There are things you have to unlearn to emotionally feel again."There are only 1,431 mental health professionals among the nation's 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, said Terry Jones, a Pentagon spokesman on health issues.
About 20,000 more full- and part-time professionals provide health care services for the Veterans Administration and the Pentagon. They include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and substance abuse counselors. According to veterans groups and health care experts, that is not enough for a mental health crisis emerging among troops and their families.
"Honestly, much is being done by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs," said retired Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist. "But the need to help these men and women goes far beyond whatever any government agency can do."