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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Majority of recent war vets treated by VA have mental health problems

Majority of recent war vets treated by VA have mental health problems
By JOAQUIN SAPIEN
ProPublica
Published: May 11, 2011


More than half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals since 2002 have been diagnosed, at least preliminarily, with mental health problems, according to statistics obtained by the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense.

The data, which is released quarterly, also shows that the raw number of returning soldiers with psychological problems is rising. Nearly 18,000 new patients were treated for mental health issues at VA facilities in the last three months of last year—the most recent time period for which data is available— upping the total to more than 330,000.

The latest numbers confirm a trend that has intensified over the last several years. Paul Sullivan, the executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, said that when the organization first began to collect the data in late 2004, only 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in VA hospitals had been diagnosed with mental problems.
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Majority of recent war vets treated by VA have mental health problems

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