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U.S. Soldiers Could Get A Private Way To Seek Mental Health Care

Mental health
Joshua Seybert

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York renewed her call to pass a bill that would create a confidential way for military service members to get mental health care.

This comes as a recent study found military personnel have died by suicide four times more than in combat since 9/11.

Gillibrand says the stigma associated with mental health often prevents them from getting the help they need.

“It doesn't mean the end of your career. It just means you must seek some treatment so that you can be 100% when you are deployed or given a new mission,” Gillibrand said.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan in August did lead to a spike in calls to a mental health hotline run by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Other contributing factors often include marriage and relationship problems.

“I think people, if they looked at mental health in the same way they look at their physical health, they would know if they have an issue, they have to treat it and through treatment, they will recover,” Gillibrand said.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.