Changing Rates of Mental Health Disorders Among Veterans Treated in the VHA During Troop Drawdown, 2007–2013
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Nationally representative data on mental health disorder prevalence are critical to set informed mental health priorities and policies. Data indicating mental health diagnoses within our nation’s veteran population treated at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are available, but have yet to be examined for changing trends to inform both VHA and community care. We use VHA national program evaluation data from a time of increasing military enrollment (2007) to troop draw down (2013) to examine changes over time in the number of diagnoses in veterans receiving VHA services. The number of veterans in all diagnostic categories increased during our study period with the smallest increase in psychotic disorders (8%) and the largest in posttraumatic stress disorder (71%). Trends in behavioral health diagnoses among veterans have important implications for policy and clinician competencies within VHA and community providers as veteran mental health care needs change.
KeywordsVeterans National mental health care Mental illness
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
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