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The military has always been forced to respond to the mental healthcare needs of combat veterans because of the role that they play. In this case, it is in both scenarios, that is, during and after deployment. During deployment, crisis intervention strategies or skills are supposed to be used because this is a critical stage where their actions might lead to problems. During deployment, combat veterans are in service and this means that any mental health disorder should be effectively attended to. This is based on the problems or crises that might emanate as a result of their actions while in deployment (Richard, 2005, p. 35). On the other hand, their mental health after deployment is also supposed to be taken care of. This is mostly done through effective assessment strategies and treatment modalities that will take care of their mental healthcare needs.
As far as crisis intervention strategies during deployment are concerned, combat veterans are given mental healthcare in the war zone. This is the first intervention strategy because they have to assess their situation and contain the patient in the war zone so that he/she might not cause any problem. The deployment of family members to the war zone to be with the combat veterans has always been used to support them as they are being treated. This is very important because it enables them to reconnect with their loved ones. In this case, there are occasions where they might reach crisis stages that require immediate intervention (Jones, 2001, p. 12). It should be known that coping skills training has been used to stabilize the situation as time goes by. As a matter of fact, skills training is effective as far as recovering during deployment is concerned. There is a training strategy that is used by the military on combat veterans’ so that they can adapt to deployment.
After deployment, their mental healthcare needs have been sustained through preventive programs. In this case, there are a lot of mitigation strategies where personnel is called in to respond to those veterans who are in crisis. This means that there is a deployment cycle that is used by the military as an assessment strategy for veterans who are returning from deployment. Psychological debriefing has occasionally been used by the military as a preventive measure (Richard, 2005, p. 24). In most cases, this is employed to avert any further crisis. As far as treatment modalities are concerned, there is a lot of mental health personnel who have been trained to ensure that they offer good prescription and treatment. This means that combat veterans have to be followed in their homes to assess their health as time goes by so that they can recover well. Individual programming has also been used as a treatment modality for combat veterans after deployment for long-term sustainability.
A foreshortened sense of the future has emerged as a barrier that might prevent veterans from seeking treatment. This is because veterans have a low expectation of life after returning from combat as far as their mental health problem is concerned. It should be known that this is a barrier because they are affected by trauma-related experiences during and after deployment. Trauma-related experiences keep coming back no matter how much the veterans might try to forget them (Jones, 2001, p. 19). This has proved to be a big barrier especially for veterans who experience severe and chronic combat-related problems. Posttraumatic stress should be effectively taken care of to ensure that combat veterans’ mental healthcare needs are on the right track.
- Jones, M. (2001). Unification of the Military Health System: A Half-Century Unresolved Debate. US: Army War College.
- Richard, A. (2005). Military Medical Care Services: Questions and Answers. US: Congressional Research Service.