Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023


Goal: The goal of Combat Veteran Mental Health Care Advocacy is to promote, support and draw attention to critical combat veteran mental health issues, such as PTSD, depression and substance abuse, where the real and actual consequence may lead to suicide.

Significant Findings: Presently, there are about 18 million living veterans (Inoue et al., 2023; Vespa, 2020), of which approximately 7.7 million served between 1990 and the present; roughly 42 percent of the total (Vespa, 2020). Wounded Warrior Project (2022) reported that these combat veterans face significant mental health issues such as sleep deprivation, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The primary consequence is suicide. Nearly 1 in 5 Wounded Warrior Project warriors have attempted suicide, 1 in 4 have entertained suicide thoughts. Research has indicated the combat veteran feels isolated, misunderstood and avoids confronting misguided and erroneous misconceptions people have about them and their invisible wounds.

Stategies: Utilize evidenced-based models strategic in the application of preventive measures and treatment interventions for treating combat veteran mental health issues and disorders; employ the military Psychological Health Research Continuum model and the Social Cognitive Theory model; use the ACA Advocacy Toolkit to promote advocacy actions; collaborate with the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and veterans groups and organizations on advocacy actions; and promote passage of the STRONG Veterans Act of 2022 (H.R.6411), the Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 (H.R.3967), and the Improving Access to Behavioral Health Integration Act (S.4306)