Talking Points

  1. 1.6 million veterans deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq for approximately 2.2 times. 60 million extended family members impacted; one third under the age of eighteen

  2. 50% of returning reserve/national guard, 40% regular military, 31% marines suffer from diagnosable mental health conditions; 17-20% meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

  3. Deployments cause higher level of child abuse/neglect in families left at home (42%) and higher divorce rates.

  4. Untreated PTSD lives on inter-generationally and renders the next generations more vulnerable to subsequent traumatization.

  5. The signature wounds of the Afghanistan and Iraqi war theaters are Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), some soldiers suffering from both conditions.

  6. There is an enormous and unmet need for comprehensive mental health services in urban and rural areas to returned soldiers and to the extended family members impacted by the stresses of the deployments and the injuries.

  7. A public health crisis has been created and will continue for years to come if these mental health services are not provided - in turn resulting in higher medical costs, loss of income in the work place, dissolution of family unit, higher risk of child abuse and child neglect.