mental health

Former servicemember Stephen Kennedy, pictured with his wife Catherine and four children, sued after he received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Army.
Courtesy Stephen Kennedy

If approved by a federal court, the legal settlement will force the Army to review the discharges of recent veterans with mental health issues.

Kristen Christy poses with her husband Don in a 2005 photo. Don, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, died by suicide in 2008.
Kristen Christy

New federal laws seek to improve mental health care for veterans and their families. But advocates say it will take time for local communities to feel the effects.

Curley Bonds, the Chief Medical Officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, joins other state and county officials at a 2019 Suicide Prevention Month event.
Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Some states and cities are trying to improve the quality of data on veteran suicide, which is often incomplete and years old.

Iraq War veteran Roberto Cruz said he realized he needed mental health treatment after he got sick with COVID-19 in July and spent weeks in isolation.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Months of physical distancing and pandemic anxiety has been especially tough on veterans who were already dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries.

Robert Hernandez (left) poses with Joe Augirre, as Augirre holds an award for fixing another veteran's mobile home.
Alyssa Jeong-Perry / American Homefront

The peer-counseling programs, which have become common in many cities, may improve mental health, self esteem, and social functioning for veterans who are returning to civilian life.

John and Barbara Browning attended a Warrior to Soul Mate session to improve their marriage in light of John's PTSD symptoms and other health challenges. 'He never told me what he went through in Vietnam until he went to pieces,' Barbara said.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering couples retreats to help former service members communicate with their spouses.

Army veteran Jesus Medina says exercising with his punching bag helps him release energy. Medina says he's still dealing with grief from his time in the military.
Emily Elena Dugdale / American Homefront

The University of California, Irvine study found that combat exposure is almost as likely to cause grief as it is to lead to PTSD.

Mark George (right), a chaplain at the Caldwell County Jail in Lockhart, Tx., shakes hands with VA clergy training instructor Larry Collins, while attendee Vernon Cooper looks on.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

The Department of Veterans Affairs is training clergy members around the country to look for signs of psychological disorders and other issues among veterans in their congregations.

Charlotte Blackwell with a photo of her son, Air Force veteran Jermaine Petit. Petit was helped by a new program in Long Beach, Cal. that pairs law enforcement officers with VA counselors to help veterans in crisis.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

In a first of its kind program, the VA in Long Beach, Cal. is partnering with law enforcement to proactively reach military veterans with mental health issues.

Former Marine Josh Onan talks with George Kevin Flood, a staff psychiatrist at the San Diego VA. Onan is taking advantage of a year-old program that makes VA care available to people with less-than-honorable military discharges.
Katie Schoolov / KPBS

Last year, the VA began offering mental health treatment to vets who don't normally qualify for V-A care. Since then, fewer than 200 people have used the program.

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