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Access to Mental Healthcare

Mental health refers to an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mentally ill people have difficulties in making decisions and handling stress. Therefore, it is important to have adequate and functional healthcare facilities. Post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) has become a notable problem among military veterans (National Center for PTSD, 2023). Military veterans refer to people who have been in military operations such as peacekeeping missions. Military personnel always undergo traumatic and stressful situations during their time of service. For instance, during their time in service, they are likely to witness a life-threatening situations that might leave traumatic memories—people with PTSD experience extrusive memories, unstable moods, hyper arousal, and deep thoughts. However, PTSD does not only affect individuals who have been in military service; it can affect anyone else who has witnessed traumatic events.

Some factors that contribute to PTSD among military veterans include combat exposure, multiple deployments, severity of trauma, lack of strong social support, experiencing sexual assaults, traumatic brain injuries, and difficulties in adjusting to the civilian lifestyle. Notably, military veterans respond differently in traumatic situations; hence, not all of them develop PTSD. Military personnel are advised to seek professional help from the military to avoid escalated situations (deRoon-Cassini et al., 2019). There are several reasons why it is difficult to access healthcare for patients who have PTSD. They include stigma, which prevents people from seeking help; lack of awareness whereby most people do not recognize the symptoms; insufficient resources in certain areas and healthcare facilities; lack of coordination between healthcare providers; and the unique military culture, which discourages them from seeking healthcare solutions (Coventry et al., 2020).

Challenges around PTSD healthcare require comprehensive policies and programs to reduce barriers to accessing healthcare, improve the quality of care, and create awareness. Below are the policies and programs that can be implemented to enhance healthcare for military veterans with PTSD problem. Education and awareness towards PTSD, integrated care models, directing more resources and finances towards healthcare facilities, providing telehealth services, providing special programs for veterans, and doing more research. Also, it is important to provide insurance coverage for PTSD patients, intervening during crises and collaborating with healthcare organizations (Coventry et al., 2020).

Factors that contribute to PTSD in military veterans can be addressed through policies and systems-level- solutions. The two policy and system solutions alternatives include comprehensive mental health screening and early intervention. Also another policy alternative is enhanced transition and reintegrated programs. The government should be on the frontline to implement the policies so that the affected individuals can access healthcare services without difficulties (DeRoon-Cassini et al., 2019). The government should establish a mandatory and routine mental health screening for people working in the military. The process should occur at various stages, especially if they are about to be deployed in difficult assignments. The screening and treatment should be conducted by qualified personnel and integrated into routine assessments. Implementation of this policy by the government will ensure there is an early identification of PTSD before it escalates(APHA, 2014).

Also, the government should enhance transition and reintegration programs to support military veterans before transitioning to civilian life. This policy can be well implemented if the government can develop mental health programs and fund them. Funding these programs ensures that they are easily accessible and professionally managed. This policy will help to mitigate risk factors associated with PTSD in military veterans. Therefore, the government must implement mental healthcare policies to reduce the prevalence and impacts associated with PTSD.


APHA. (2014). Removing Barriers to Mental Health Services for Veterans.

Coventry, P. A., Meader, N., Melton, H., Temple, M., Dale, H., Wright, K., Cloitre, M., Karatzias, T., Bisson, J., Roberts, N. P., Brown, J. V. E., Barbui, C., Churchill, R., Lovell, K., McMillan, D., & Gilbody, S. (2020). Psychological and pharmacological interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbid mental health problems following complex traumatic events: Systematic review and component network meta-analysis. PLOS Medicine17(8), e1003262.

National Center for PTSD. (2023, February 3). How Common is PTSD in Veterans?

Reisman M. (2016). PTSD Treatment for Veterans: What’s Working, What’s New, and What’s

Next. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management41(10), 623–634.

Kazlauskas E. (2017). Challenges for providing health care in traumatized

populations: barriers for PTSD treatments and the need for new

developments. Global health action10(1), 1322399.

DeRoon-Cassini, T. A., Hunt, J. C., Geier, T. J., Warren, A. M., Ruggiero, K. J., Scott, K., George, J., Halling, M., Jurkovich, G., Fakhry, S. M., Zatzick, D., & Brasel, K. J. (2019). Screening and treating hospitalized trauma survivors for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery87(2), 440–450.


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