Your Morning Cereal – Private Psychiatrists Volunteering to Help Troops

You may or may not have heard, but many of the troops returning from Iraq are suffering from depression. Unfortunately the U.S. military is short on therapists. In response to this crisis, thousands of private counselors are offering free services to troops returning home. 

On Memorial Day 2008, our troops are suffering with mental health issues including suicide, as well as a host of other issues including family, marital and job problems. The Bush administration has been scrambling to fill the need, but efforts have fallen short. So, in step the volunteers.

”It’s only an hour of your time,” said Brenna Chirby, a family member of a man deployed multiple times. ”How can you not give that to these men and women that … are going oversees and fighting for us?”

There are only 1,431 mental health professionals serving 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, and it’s not enough – not nearly. ”Honestly, much is being done by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist. ”But the need to help these men and women goes far beyond whatever any government agency can do.”

There’s an old saying –  Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer. Hopefully, these volunteer psychiatrists will begin to mend the many who are broken and often go uncared for. The last thing we want are veterans returning from Iraq winding up like those who returned from Vietnam.

Read the whole story here

Related links Pentagon’s Wounded Care Program, American Psychiatric Foundation

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Filed under Morning Cereal, Politics, War in Iraq

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