Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services


Report at a Glance

  • Key Findings and Recommendations (HTML)
  • Press Release (HTML)

Approximately 4 million U.S. veterans supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn—and many have need for mental health care services. Under a Congressional mandate responding to concerns about the health care experience of these veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assemble a committee of experts to assess veterans’ ability to access mental health services at the VA, as well as the quality of those services. After reviewing the relevant published literature, conducting site visits, and surveying veterans, the committee recommends ways to improve problems with access to and quality of mental health services for veterans, including treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, substance use disorder, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

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