Friday, October 01, 2010

PTS & Domestic Violence

Xposted on LeftFace

Stacy Bannerman has been a guest blogger on LeftFace before. She wrote a piece on The Daily Beast about PTS and Domestic Violence that you really really need to read. She told the story of a friend of hers, who was the target of an incident of domestic abuse from her husband. Stacy has some very sobering statistics and projections -

About 63,000 soldiers will return from combat tours between July and December. According to military statistics, nearly half of active-duty National Guard members, 38 percent of Army soldiers, and 31 percent of Marines report mental health problems upon return from Middle East deployments. If just 20 percent of them have post-combat stress, then it can reasonably be projected that roughly half of those veterans will commit at least one act of severe domestic abuse or interpersonal violence in the coming year. That's approximately 6,300 veterans' wives and kids who are at risk.

As she also says - our community has been hearing much more about PTS and domestic violence from within our own ranks. The hurdles flung in the path of her friend who was trying to find counseling, some help in dealing with her situation with the understanding of military families and deployments, are daunting - as are those that her husband is encountering. He knows he has a problem with PTS, but finding help is difficult.

We've been hearing from the highest echelons that they understand, that they get it.. so why are we not seeing results? We need counselors who understand that very specific world, who have experience with the military family, with deployments and the results, understanding how the military works and how difficult it is to admit to a problem in our own little community. My own worry, with the insistence on reducing costs and savings, are we going to see funding for mental health counseling and treatment reduced?

No solutions, just questions. Lots of questions.

LAW

3 comments:

Enchante said...

I'm going to guess that there is a much higher percentage of service members who suffer from PTSD then you listed.

Militaryonesource.com has a program that gives free counseling sessions for service members and their families. The last time I checked they added an additional six sessions counseling to the original six that services members could receive. You can also request more counseling sessions as well. This is such an important issue of redeployment and I hope that the military will continue to support mental health programs for their soldiers.

Laura said...

Unfortunately 12 measly counseling sessions are NOT going to make a dent in PTS...

Here's an idea...pay for milspouses to get degrees in counseling to work with military members suffering. We're already familiar with how the military works. Makes sense to me.

On the other hand, the VA, etc. are backing away from using licensed counselors at all, and including only social workers in their recently-instigated contract for the next however-many-years. Brilliant. we need MORE qualified counselors, NOT less.

BTW, I'm in grad school now, hopefully headed toward working with *our* demographic...in just 2 2/3 short years. Yeah. Wish me luck that the DOD and VA will actually recognize me when I get done.

liberal army wife said...

Laura - my idea - sorta! My idea is to get our education up to MSW paid for, a social worker/counselor with an MSW and from our demographic - would be so great. But I won't hold my breath that even when I get mine, that the DoD or VA will want to hire me either. After all, I've just been there, done that, got too damned many coffee cups.