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News & Current Events Discuss D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma at the General Forum; Advocates of better mental health care for troops say a new Pentagon policy aimed at reducing the stigma of getting ...

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Old 05-01-2008, 11:23 AM
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Thumbs up D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma

Advocates of better mental health care for troops say a new Pentagon policy aimed at reducing the stigma of getting psychiatric counseling could be a small but important step.
Under the new policy, troops won't have to reveal past job-related therapy when they apply for security clearances. The change was prompted partly by the finding that many don't get treatment because they fear acknowledging a mental problem could cost them their security clearance, harm their careers and embarrass them before commanders and comrades.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates planned to announce the policy Thursday at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was visiting a center for troops recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder, several officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.

"I think it will help," said Paul Riechoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "This needs to be followed by a mental health campaign not just for service members but for their families as well. But I really do think it's a significant evolution.

A survey released Wednesday by the American Psychiatric Association found that about three in five service members think seeking help for mental health concerns would have at least some impact on their careers.
D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma - USATODAY.com
Kudos to the military on this move.
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma

Kudos indeed. And this might help to lift the stigma in the civilian population as well. Mental disorders have been left in the shadows too long. Let their be the light that now thankfully shines on cancer, epilepsy and (thank you, Bob Dole) ED. Ignorance is a killer!
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma

While I agree, I think it should be taken a step further...

There should be an "exit interview" after x months (6?) where the soldiers back from war get a meeting INITIATED by counselors...

Just have the soldier come in to talk for a little and the counselor might be able to identify certain issues and make recommendations for futher meetings if needed......
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: D.O.D. moves to cut counseling stigma

A great move in the right direction,there should be no stigma associated with counseling.
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