January 10, 2011
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This NYSHealth-supported study, conducted by the RAND Corporation, found that veterans returning to New York State from Iraq and Afghanistan have considerable unmet mental health needs.
Nearly one-quarter (22%) of veterans surveyed have a probable diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depression, and many veterans face barriers to seeking and receiving adequate treatment. The study is the first-ever statewide assessment of the needs of returning veterans and their families.
The report also points to a need for more community-based resources for veterans; nearly half of those surveyed indicated that they would prefer to receive services outside of the VA system. Although services are available to those in need, more than 40% of veterans report being unaware of what help is available or uncertain about how to navigate the systems that provide assistance. Outreach to connect veterans with services and better coordination among government and community agencies is needed.
View an issue brief that highlights findings from the report.