Defense Department and VA should collect info for vets: IOM
The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments should collect information that will help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and their family members—readjust to life after deployment, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. According to the IOM, the research would serve to “answer many uncertainties,” including how many and where mental healthcare providers are needed; what works best in treating traumatic brain injury in the long term, and whether giving service members time to decompress before returning home would be beneficial. In the past, access to care, including mental health services, has been a particular challenge for veterans who live in rural areas. These preliminary findings are part of a two-phase study, the IOM said. In the first phase, committee members worked to identify the most pressing needs of the population through a review of scientific literature, media reports, and testimony from veterans and their families at town-hall meetings. The second-phase report will present more detailed findings and recommendations.