Panetta Announces Health Care Transformation; Says DoD Now Will “Better Meet the Needs” of Troops With PTSD/TBI

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Aug. 31, 2012, that he would direct a “transformation” of the military health care system. Panetta made the statement the same day President Obama signed an executive order directing VA and DoD leaders collaborate to help more veterans struggling to get treatment for neuropsychiatric injuries and find work in a depressed economy. Panetta pledged to increase treatment quality and availability for “unseen wounds.” All services are experiencing record active-duty suicides. The Army is the only branch to reveal suicide rates in its Reserve and Guard components. Suicide prevention researchers agree troops in Reserve and Guard units are statistically more likely to die from suicide. (AP)

Statement by Secretary Panetta on Mental Health Executive Order

DoD Leader Says He’s Been “Challenged” by President Obama to Work Harder on Military Suicide Problem

by Leon Panetta
Department of Defense, Aug. 31, 2012

I want to thank President Obama for his leadership in ensuring that America’s service members, military families and veterans receive the best possible mental health care and support.
Today’s executive order will help the Department of Defense team with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services in a whole-of-government effort to improve care for those who have shouldered the burden of defending this country. 

As a new generation of American veterans comes home from a decade of war, we are determined to meet the President’s challenge to expand the quality and availability of mental health services for them.
As part of this effort, we are transforming our health care system to better meet the needs of those returning from war, including those battling unseen wounds and mental stress.
We are also encouraging service members to seek help if they need it, making clear that doing so is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, and that their careers will not be jeopardized if they make this courageous decision.
But there is still more work to do. In particular, we are losing too many of our men and women to suicide. 

The President has rightly challenged us to do even more to prevent suicide among service members, veterans, and military families, and the entire leadership of the Department of Defense shares his determination to put a stop to these tragedies.
In the months ahead, the civilian and uniformed leadership of the Department will remain focused on implementing a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy to deal with this urgent and complex challenge.” 

The Department of Defense and Department of Veteran’s Affairs have a Military Crisis Line and encourages military families, veterans and their loved ones to call 1-800-273-8255 to gain access to a specially trained and qualified responder.

Read this statement at its source:


One Response

  1. How can we believe that our injured warriors and their families will receive improved services with the a failed behavioral sick care system that only promotes labels and drugging. We need integrative and holistic health services that are offered intensively and extensively for every family returning from the wars. See our plans & programs that do work for my retrung vets.

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