March 8, 2013
The Army must take significant steps to improve its diagnosis and treatment of behavioral health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, according to results released Friday after a seven-month review.
Army Secretary John McHugh described the Army Task Force on Behavioral Health report as one of the most “comprehensive efforts” taken to improve behavioral health care within the Army. He said the service reviewed more than 140,000 health records, conducted interviews with over 750 people, and administered some 80 “sensing sessions” – also known as climate surveys – with approximately 6,400 people.
“We will also make informed changes that will provide soldiers and families additional education and assistance to connect with support services,” McHugh said in a statement released with the report.
Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., applauded the report, but said more must be done to prevent situations like those at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where many PTSD diagnoses were reversed, according to a Seattle Times report.
“I am pleased that the Army completed this review and has vowed to make fixes over the next year, though I am disappointed it has taken more than a decade of war to get to this point,” Murray said in a statement. “The sheer number of changes this report recommends is indicative of the size and scope of the problem.”
March 8, 2013