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War Veterans’ Mental Health as Social Issue

Current social issue and the role of social work in addressing it

The current issue to be discussed touches on the War Veterans returning home and not receiving proper mental health care due to a lack of mental health professionals serving the Armed Forces. In most cases, these war veterans are compelled to wait for a relatively long period before any medical attention can be advanced to them. There are even instances when false evaluation of medical records related to War Veterans. Lack of funding has worsened the situation bearing in mind that adequate monetary resources are required to cater to the emotional and psychological rehabilitation of the War Veterans coming back home. An urgent solution is needed so that the war veterans who are already mentally-ill do not find their way to mental health institutions and subsequent homelessness.

To begin with, it is pertinent to mention that the state of psychological care that has been put in place for some decades now appears to be inadequate in attaining the needs of modern armed forces and their beneficiaries. Worse still, similar challenges may still be faced in the future if the current system of care is not transformed. The prevention and treatment of illnesses is s being given little priority as compared to the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of psychological trauma resulting from war experience. It is necessary to maximize resilience and enhance coping strategies.

There are several theoretical assumptions and insufficient manpower especially in regards to the provision of mental healthcare by social health workers. Resilience building among the affected war veterans and their immediate families has not been given serious concern. There are hundreds of soldiers who were affected by the war in Iraq even though most of them are yet to receive the much needed psychological care. How mental health care has been provided in the US among war veterans is still in question. Some individuals have been exposed to mixed episodes of violence. They equally deserve to be taken through the rehabilitation process by social healthcare workers.

One of the approaches adopted in the recent years in the management of medical needs of war veterans is the application of medical models. Social workers have been largely guided and trained to treat psychological challenges in the same way as other ailments. This model aims at reducing symptoms through dosed therapies. As much as this model may be productive in some respects, social health workers are supposed to embrace the bio-psychosocial framework. The latter makes it possible to build social work practice bearing in mind that each individual is treated more as a subject than an object.

Perhaps, most of the challenges have been directed towards social workers and their contribution towards dealing with war veterans undergoing post-traumatic stress disorder. Clients who have undergone traumatic events in life as well as the war veterans ought to be integrated into a health care system by social workers. This implies another form of viable medical model should be put in place so that survivors can be taken care of appropriately through effective treatment options. The most viable methods of inquiry ought to be put in place by social workers so that war veterans. The approaches to be adopted should be well aligned with the frameworks put in place by the public healthcare systems. When these war veterans are being provided with medical care, social health workers can still be at the forefront of assisting the recovering veterans in becoming useful people in their communities. For instance, most of them can be modeled into community leaders in various capacities.

Given the above arguments and challenges facing war veterans, it is fundamental for professionals in social work to come up with a task force that supports social work in researching and proposing solutions on how war veterans can be assisted. Professionals in this field should also make use of the social work organizations that exist n propagating for social work and public health frameworks that tackle the long term and recurrent needs of war veterans. The academic journal article authored by Wheeler and Bragin (2007) is quite categorical that war the best strategies should be used to reintegrate war veterans back to society especially after they undergo the recovery process. This journal article is very comprehensive regarding current issues surrounding war veterans as well as the most likely solutions that can be adopted. This will enable the social work professionals to measures that are test specific so that the war veterans who have been negatively impacted by both traumatic brain injury and stress disorders can be assisted.

Finally, as an Army veteran, I would like to equip myself with the right training and education of becoming a Clinical Social Worker. My goal is to join the fight on providing mental health care for our traumatized veterans and their family. This university has the right program to help me reach my goals of serving those who served. The curriculum of the MSW program from this university offers a trauma-informed resiliency framework that will help me take my career in the right direction.


Wheeler, D. P., & Bragin, M. (2007). Bringing It All Back Home: Social Work and the Challenge of Returning Veterans. Health & Social Work, 32(4), 297-300.

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