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Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 1120–1124 | Cite as

Changing Rates of Mental Health Disorders Among Veterans Treated in the VHA During Troop Drawdown, 2007–2013

  • Marcia G. HuntEmail author
  • Gary S. Cuddeback
  • Elizabeth Bromley
  • Daniel W. Bradford
  • Rani A. Hoff
Original Article
  • 94 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Veterans National mental health care Mental illness 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VISN1 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)New England Healthcare SystemWest HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)West Los Angeles VA Healthcare CenterLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Center for Health Services and SocietyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  7. 7.Durham VA Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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