Military Veterans’ Mental Health Needs

The topic of the study concerns the mental health needs of veterans who suffer different types of disorders as the result of their military service. This issue has a significant influence on my practice because this population constitutes a relatively large number of people in the USA. Many individuals encounter such difficulties as mental disorders, substance abuse, “homelessness, and involvement in the criminal justice system” (Blodgett et al., 2015, p. 163). Such a wide range of issues that need to be addressed in the psychotherapeutic context implies the importance of the investigation of the challenges this population experiences.

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Despite cultural and ethnic diversity of the target population, the common psychological issues are characterized by similar symptoms. However, it is relevant to apply culture-sensitive interventions to amplify the efficacy of psychotherapy. It is essential to retrieve and use the information about the cultural particularities of a patient to help him or her deal with the issues within a comfortable spectrum of beliefs. Religious and family history background might be helpful at this point.

The community provides both private and public services to ensure veterans’ accessibility to the facilities and information. Multiple brochures, scholarly research publications, websites, and counseling advertisement are available to increase the scope of services for vets. However, there are some gaps in the addressing of the possible ways how this population might seek for help. This issue might be complicated due to the reluctance of traumatized individuals to face the problem and acknowledge their disability and attempts to resolve it on their own. To address the gaps, the ways to facilitate the accessibility of mental health institutions for veterans should be found.

To understand the needs of veterans better and to introduce effective psychotherapeutic services, it would be useful to study the scope of literature addressing the particular aspects with which they deal, such as substance use, communicational issues, depression. Also, it is important to investigate the mental health problems that veterans’ family members might experience and provide relevant services for them as well. I will need to find and study an explicit description of practical interventions applicable to this particular population.


The relevance of the research to the target population might be explained by the common occurrence of the mental health problems of veterans after their combat service. More importantly, the unresolved psychological issues in veterans might lead to severe complications in both their health conditions and their social behavior. According to Blodgett et al. (2015), about “10% of incarcerated adults (i.e., those in jail or prison) have served in the military” which includes approximately 210,000 veterans (p. 164).

Also, alcohol misuse and the behavioral threats that follow are prevalent among veterans (Osilla et al., 2018). Thus, a great number of those involved in military service have a high rate of exposure to substance abuse and criminal activities. It is vital to apply timely mental health for those who need it to prevent adverse outcomes for both, the veterans and the society.

To succeed at timely identification of a problem, it is essential to raise awareness and attract family members to therapeutic interventions. The research explicitly addressed the involvement of veterans’ families in mental health treatment. One of the most widely spread problems related to military experience is a post-traumatic stress disorder that is best treated with the participation of family members (Fisher et al., 2015). It is essential to identify the most effective interventions for veterans and their families to eliminate the threats emerging as the result of combat experience.

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This research will greatly influence my practice as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) because it will contribute specific knowledge about the mental health needs of veterans related to their military experiences. According to American Psychological Association (n.d.), the majority of veterans returning home after their service fail to find relevant public institutions due to the lack of workforce in the field. As a result of this research, the information and its analysis will facilitate in increasing of the scope of service and providing more opportunities for the deployed military service members to find psychotherapeutic help and be adequately treated.

The particular findings of the most commonly found disorders including alcohol and drug use, criminal behavior, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder will contribute to the practical side of my work.

Being acknowledged about the various mental health problems, it will be more useful to apply basic methodology and interventions to treat veterans. The implementation of the family-oriented method will amplify the positive outcomes of therapy for both vets and their family members who might also experience challenges in the adjustment to a non-military environment (Osilla et al., 2018). Thus, the research will broaden the scope of my theoretical and practical skills and will contribute to the efficacy of my work.

To improve care for veterans, I aim to investigate the relations between the type of service and mental health disorders. It will contribute to the understanding of the roots of problems and, from a long-term perspective, will facilitate the interventions. Also, it would be appropriate to find more information about positive therapeutic experiences in care for veterans. Such practical implications will be the basis for improvement of session interventions aimed at dealing with different mental health problems specific for this population group.


American Psychological Association. (n.d.). The mental health needs of veterans, service members and their families. Web.

Blodgett, J. C., Avoundjian, T., Finlay, A. K., Rosenthal, J., Asch, S. M., Maisel, N. C., & Midboe, A. M. (2015). Prevalence of mental health disorders among justice-involved veterans. Epidemiologic Reviews, 37(1), 163–176.

Fischer, E. P., Sherman, M. D., McSweeney, J. C., Pyne, J. M., Owen, R. R., and Dixon, L. B. (2015). Perspectives of family and veterans on family programs to support reintegration of returning veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Services, 12(3), 187-198

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Osilla, K. C., Pedersen, E. R., Tolpadi, A., Howard, S. S., Phillips, J. L., and Gore, K. L. (2018). The feasibility of a web-intervention for military and veteran spouses concerned about their partner’s alcohol misuse. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 45(1), 57-73.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Military Veterans' Mental Health Needs'. 1 January.

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