Veterans Mental health Care

Improving the Quality of Mental Health Care for Veterans

Roughly one in five veterans experiences mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and anxiety. Deployment can also increase the risk of unhealthy alcohol and drug use, substance use disorders, and suicidal behavior. If left untreated, these conditions can have long-lasting and damaging consequences, impairing relationships, work productivity, quality of life, and overall well-being for veterans and their families.

It is important that veterans who experience mental health conditions and substance use problems receive treatment and get the best quality care available. Evidence-based treatment improves recovery rates. It also reduces the likelihood of other negative consequences that can follow from mental health and substance use conditions, such as health deterioration and problems in relationships and work. Poor-quality care, by contrast, is less likely to lead to recovery. Furthermore, poor experiences with care can discourage veterans from seeking further care.