Transition from Military Service: Mental Health and Well-being Among Service Members and Veterans with Service-connected Disabilities

Gary R. Bond, Monirah Al-Abdulmunem, Robert E. Drake, Lori L. Davis, Thomas Meyer, Daniel M. Gade, B. Christopher Frueh, Ross B. Dickman, Daniel R. Ressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transitioning from military service is stressful for veterans with service-connected disabilities seeking civilian employment. This descriptive study examined self-assessed mental health, well-being, and substance use of men and women shortly before or after transition from US military service, compared to norms from community and military samples. As part of a prospective study evaluating an innovative employment program, researchers interviewed 229 current and former service members with service-connected disabilities transitioning from U.S. military service. Compared to published norms, respondents reported significantly poorer outcomes on 5 of 6 standardized measures, indicating less life satisfaction, poorer mental health, more symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, and greater financial distress. In the previous year, 42% were prescribed opioid medications, over twice the annual opioid prescription rate of 19% in the general US population. Systematic strategies are needed to ensure access for transitioning veterans with serious behavioral health issues to appropriate evidence-based practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Transition
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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