Mental Health Stigma in the Military
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Despite the efforts of both the U.S. Department of Defense DoD and the Veterans Health Administration to enhance mental health services, many service members are not regularly seeking needed care when they have mental health symptoms or disorders. The research team hypothesized that mental health stigma may be a barrier to mental health treatment-seeking among military service members. Without appropriate treatment, these mental health symptoms or disorders can have wide-ranging and negative impacts on the quality of life and the social, emotional, and cognitive functioning of affected service members. The RAND National Defense Research Institute NDRI was asked to inventory and assess stigma-reduction strategies across both the services and DoD as a whole, to identify strengths and gaps that should be addressed. Informed by this inventory and feedback from an expert panel, NDRI developed a set of recommended priorities for stigma reduction. These recommendations answered such questions as Where are there gaps in stigma-reduction strategies What stigma-reduction strategies seem particularly promising Which of the current stigma-reduction strategies should be continued or enhanced and Where is there duplication or overlap, or alternatively, conflicting messages among current strategies This report summarizes the findings of this assessment. The contents of this report will be of particular interest to policymakers in DoD, other command and line leadership, and mental health providers and other professionals.
- Military Forces and Organizations