Report Questions Programs For Preventing Mental Illness In Service Members

The Los Angeles Times (2/21, Zarembo) “Science Now” blog reports that according to a 291-page report commissioned by the Department of Defense and produced by a committee from the Institute of Medicine, “many federal programs aimed at preventing psychological problems in military service members and their families have not been evaluated correctly to determine whether they are working and are not supported by science.” In particular, the report criticized “the Pentagon’s biggest and costliest prevention program, known as Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, which is used throughout the Army.” The report found that the program did not lower rates of depression or of post-traumatic stress disorder.

USA Today (2/21, Zoroya) points out that the report’s findings “come as about 1,000 Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans are being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder each week, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs.” The present report “follows an earlier Institute of Medicine review released last year concluding that the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs are struggling to keep pace with a growing number of mental health problems generated by the wars.”

Related Links:

— “Programs to prevent psychological problems in troops questioned, ” Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2014.

Posted in In The News.