Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mental health at Ft. Carson (paca)

There was a killer report on NPR in the last couple days about mental health treatment in the army. On the one hand, you have all of the official procedures which say everything you'd want to hear - training for officers to recognize problems, especially post-combat issues, programs in place to treat members of the military, help being provided to those who have put their lives on the line for their country. On the other hand, those policies are running up against the very common "real man" attitude, further enhanced in the military, that things like post-traumatic stress (old shell shock) and depression are phantom diseases, and the person just needs to either stop making up crap because he's afraid to go back on another tour of duty or just get over it and straighten themselves out. They need to act like a man. Here's the link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6575431

For some reason, the entire story as it ran yesterday on All Things Considered is not in the write-up here. It may or may not be part of the "Listen to the story" link. The basic problem is summed up at the end (not in the write-up) when they interview a sergeant who talks about how these guys with their stupid mental health problems are betraying their fellow soldiers. They fought together and would die to save another on the battlefield, and then they come home and these cowards can't keep their lives together. They are emotionally weak and are turning their backs on their fellow soldiers with these made-up diseases. It never occurs to the sarge that he is turning his back on a fellow soldier who is falling apart.

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