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Mental Health Disorders, Suicide Risk, and Treatment Seeking Among Formerly Deployed National Guard and Reserve Service Member Seen in Non-VA Facilities

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Technical Report,01 Sep 2018,31 Aug 2019

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The focus of the current study was to assess the prevalence of and risk factors for mental health disorders, variations in service use among National Guard and Reserve service members seem in non-VA facilities following deployments, compared to other era service members. Of the 1,730 veterans surveyed, 95 percent were male, 44 percent were under 64 years old, 96 percent were white race, 40 percent reported multiple warzone deployments, and 38 percent n665 had served as National GuardReserve service members. In addition, 23 percent n396 serviced in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Global War on Terrorism. The prevalence of current PTSD was 5.4 percent probable PTSD 7.6 percent, current depression was 8 percent, 23 percent had used mental health services in the past year and 50 percent had used the VA in the past year. The most common current disorder was related to alcohol misuse, with 24 percent screening positive on the AUDIT scale. In addition, 28 percent reported a history of concussion during military service. Analyses indicated that PTSD, depression, mental health service use, alcohol misuse, suicidality, and stressful life events were more common among National GuardReserve veterans, compared to other era veterans p-values 0.05. However, other era veterans were more likely to rate themselves in fair or poor health and to report a service-connected disability p-values 0.05. Nevertheless, multivariable analyses that adjusted for demographic differences, level of combat exposure, current life stressors, and current social support, found no differences in mental health status and mental health service use among the veteran groups. To date, analyses suggest that while deployed National GuardReserve service members tended to have a higher prevalence of mental health disorders and mental health service use, when the data were adjusted for demographic difference and potential confounders, there were few differences in outcomes between the veteran groups.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Psychology

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