November 26, 2012: By the Numbers

November 26, 2012: By the Numbers


The percentage of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are using community-based mental health care, according to a report issued earlier this month by the National Council for Behavioral Health, Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In real numbers, that's about 657,000 vets. And by 2014, the report says, 40 percent (970,000 veterans) will be using community-based care.

The report points out that fewer than half of returning veterans in need of mental health services are receiving any type of treatment. And, it says, of those receiving care for PTSD and major depression, just 30 percent are receiving evidence-based treatment.

The report also stresses the big picture cost savings from providing mental health care to our latest generation of veterans:

Every dollar invested in evidence-based care for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with untreated mental health disorders results in $2.50 in savings over two years... The report finds that if all 210,000 untreated veterans with PTSD and/or major depression received appropriate treatment, the $481 million investment would result in more than $1.2 billion in cost savings.