CSUDH Communications Essay

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Proposition: “Be it resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially reform the provision of mental health services to the chronically mentally ill, as focused on PTSD.”

  1. Introduction
    1. Opening: From the Iraqi war to the conflict in Afghanistan that finally saw an end after 20 years, the occurrences of posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD as presented in active soldiers and veterans will only increase with the United States involvement in world affairs through military engagement.
    2. Why this issue is important right now: While the current administration has made strides to improve the status quo, the range and severity of issues from providing preventative care and mental screening to the processing of veteran claims, serious problems persist that call for further scrutiny and reform (Rovner, 2014; Thompson, 2010).
    3. Proposition/Thesis: Therefore, the United States Federal Government should substantially reform the provision of mental health services to the chronically mentally ill, as focused on PTSD.
    4. Preview of points: Specific focus should be given to improving the military culture in removing the stigma associated with seeking mental healthcare; exploring different methods of care, and addressing the needs of Veterans Affairs to provide better services.
  2. Advocacy For
    1. Identifying Ill: More than 500,000 troops suffer from mental illness, as of 2007, mental care was one of the largest unmet needs in Iraq and its consequences are severe.
      1. Magnitude: According to the U.S. military, about “11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.” (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2018).
      2. Extent: The impact of war on our soldiers is catastrophic, notwithstanding the impact on their families and our communities (Carey, 2010).
    2. Placing the blame: The military maintains an outdated view on drug-addiction treatment that leaves soldiers suffering; when individuals receive care, too few receive quality care.
      1. Evidence:
    3. Cure: Stepped care and collaborative approaches may help in treating depression and combat comorbid PTSD; educating soldiers and increasing unit support may improve care
    4. Advantages to reform will outweigh the impact of the opposing argument: While the treatment cost may be substantial, providing evidence-based care to all veterans with mental health conditions may in fact be a cost-saving strategy when viewed in the long term.
  3. Conclusion
    1. Evidence clearly shows the extent of PTSD in its negative impact on our troops on their well-being (Thompson, 2010). The negligent care veterans receive is detrimental and reflective of a system that is in need of significant reform. The extent and impact of PTSD far outweigh any associated costs of care that are required and need to be addressed at the highest level by the United States Federal Government.

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