A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans

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Military duty, which may continue for decades, is a challenging career that involves significant physical and mental strain on the body. Mental and psychiatric diseases, which can cause depression, are prevalent illnesses among military members and troops (Ghahramanlou-Holloway et al., 2018). Despite the fact that the investigations were confined to veterans from the United States of America, high prevalence levels of substance abuse problems, 5.7%, and excessive alcohol consumption, 5.4%, were recognized among older veterans (Williamson et al., 2018). The specified gap that has to be explored is the limited attention dedicated to veterans’ mental health needs, as well as the healthcare system’s inability to address such issues.

Due to the history of healthcare disparities, it is reasonable to assume that the lack of attention paid to the army’s psychological health needs derives from therapists’ lack of understanding of what warfare involves. Veterans’ need for mental health services to assist them in recovering from the trauma they encountered during battle has gained prominence in recent decades (Williamson et al., 2018). Despite a paucity of studies examining real-world career ramifications, scientists suggest that service members believe that seeking mental health treatment will jeopardize their professional military prospects and careers (Ghahramanlou-Holloway et al., 2018). Therefore, the idea that few veterans pursue therapy since they are distracted by other issues confirms the lack of consideration given to the issue, implying that it has been accumulating for decades. Inequities in veteran psychotherapy have developed over time as a result of delaying psychological recovery.

People enlist in the military for a variety of reasons, including patriotism, financial support, educational possibilities, and a family history of military service. War, on the other side, is a complex event including both emotional and physical strain. Once their service is finished, veterans may feel alienated from the community, and their professional possibilities are unknown, restricting their level of living and opportunities. Furthermore, veterans can experience the impacts of mental stress, such as sadness and a sense of seriously losing purpose in life. These socioeconomic situations put pressure on veterans’ psychological health, with gaps in service indicating that their basic needs have not been satisfied.

Gaps in mental care access cause an increase in unfavorable psychological illnesses, which have a significant impact on the target population. Despite the fact that many programs have been developed to assist military personnel in adjusting to civilian life, wives, children, and extended family networks have relatively few alternatives (Sherman & Larsen, 2018). In general, there can be a demand-supply mismatch in veteran health care due to a scarcity of professionals ready to commit to providing high-quality psychological health treatment. Mental health issues, such as mental disease, stress disorder, and depression, can induce additional negative effects on people’s health. Due to a variety of problems and limits for family-based therapy in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, veteran groups are pursuing and will continue to seek psychological care in public sector venues (Sherman & Larsen, 2018). The degradation of veterans’ physical and mental health highlights the critical need to develop effective techniques for balancing healthcare availability.

The proper care of veterans’ psychological health and well-being should offer a decent standard of life as well as multiple opportunities for growth and advancement. When military families transfer to civilian life, they face a variety of challenges, each with its own set of significant occupational, social, and interpersonal adaptations (Sherman & Larsen, 2018). Civilian caregivers can increase their military culture awareness by being familiar with resources and depending on them when interacting with transitioning service members (Sherman & Larsen, 2018). If left unaddressed, the mental health treatment gap can limit veterans’ capacity to be productive at work or under educational conditions. Additionally, poor results of not creating mental health services for veterans might be connected to elements such as memories, flashbacks, low mood, and concentration difficulties.

Existing Initiatives

Existing initiatives, such as those promoted by the American Public Health Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs, aim to provide medical benefits to military personnel who have been dismissed or withdrawn from service. Intervention, mental health as a complete component of medical care, accountability in welfare programs, and non-discriminatory inclusion of all mental treatment for veterans are the arguments and solutions addressed by the organizations (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). As a result, the American Public Health Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs collaborated to develop a set of recommendations to expand the amount of support and assistance available.

It is possible to highlight human development, education, and technology deployment as particular goals of the existing initiative in place to define this gap in access. The Department of Veterans Affairs is attempting to modify the level of qualifying for health and mental health treatments in order to expand coverage (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). Another purpose of the program is to increase professional medical retention by minimizing compassion stress and burnout, which can make it difficult for them to provide effective care to vulnerable communities.

Considering the circumstances around the development of the existing initiative, it is possible to emphasize more than a decade of development. In 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs offered specialist mental health treatment to almost 1.3 million service members suffering from psychological health disorders (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). With extended clinic hours, telehealth mental competence to deliver treatments and criteria that guarantee timely access to mental health care, the institution has improved availability (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). On several mental health policies and programs, it collaborated tightly with the Department of Defense (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). Hence, the development of the initiative was connected to technological growth and enhanced access to innovations.

Personnel and competent people are the first type of resources required. Emotional exhaustion and burnout among healthcare personnel who provide services to a vulnerable group must be reduced. As a result, a persistent lack of non-human and human factors that could facilitate the delivery of successful treatments is attributed to gaps in psychological healthcare access. The initiative’s main form of capability is financial resources, which are required for the program’s efficient execution. The population experiences not only psychological health concerns, but also substance abuse, alcoholism, and increased death rates as a result of extreme socioeconomic hardships (Williamson et al., 2018). As a result, increasing mental health coverage in current healthcare plans should solve the issue of low-income veterans being unable to access adequate therapy. Financial funding from the Department of Veteran Affairs is vital since it permits academic research on moral damage, military structure, and military trauma to be funded.

Due to the fact that veterans would have to raise their financial spending on treatments and services, the measures that have been established and applied do not satisfy the needed improvement. Since it is not possible to cover all military members for free, the Department of Veterans Affairs plan must be improved. The program is constrained by a shortage of employees and high turnover rates owing to compassion fatigue. In addition, the existing initiative focuses solely on veterans, frequently disregarding the significant impact the healthcare gap has on their families and environment. Even though many services have been established to help military people adapt to civilian life, there are comparatively few options available for spouses, children, and extended family systems (Sherman & Larsen, 2018). This issue needs substantial financial assistance to guarantee that veterans obtain the degree of mental healthcare coverage. Moreover, the problem is not well-publicized, making it difficult for veterans to learn about it and make use of the resources provided to them.


The ineffectiveness of current solutions for addressing inequalities in psychological health care access needs regulation of the problem. Digital health and telemedicine systems, for example, are employed to assist veterans in overcoming mental health issues. The importance of this solution is demonstrated by the fact that it eliminates the gap between veterans and network operators and providers. It is achieved by the use of fundamental technologies that will assist in the refinement of interactions, the development of new services, and the promotion of enhanced awareness. Individuals and healthcare providers can employ electronic health tools ranging from therapeutic online chat communities to one-on-one talks (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2022). The technologies can help with symptom management, which is crucial for long-term mental health treatment. As a consequence, programs including technology are essential for building a greater coverage of psychological health aid for veterans due to their broad use in various contexts.

A reassessment of scheduling and employment strategies for healthcare professionals is necessary to address inequities in healthcare access equity. The decision to develop and implement a contemporary treatment consultation scheduling system is a significant step forward in the administration of veterans’ treatment and rehabilitation. Not only would information simplicity make it easier to schedule appointments, but it will also provide crucial information for the long-term preservation of constant developments and improvements.

The proposed set of rules will need to be implemented on a national level. Every region and neighborhood should have services to help veterans with mental health issues, especially when serious problems occur, such as suicide conduct resulting from homelessness or despair. Furthermore, the shortcomings in personnel training, turnover, and scheduling that have been identified demand a diversified strategy to address the issues. Since veterans face disparities in access across the country, a nationwide strategy including every state and healthcare provider is essential.


To conclude, veterans do not presently receive the degree of mental health care that they require. The Department of Veterans Affairs has made strenuous attempts to treat the underlying psychological disorders that veterans endure as a result of being exposed to traumatic events. Simultaneously, it is vital to accentuate the presence of defects and drawbacks. Concerning discussing their mental health concerns, veterans face a range of obstacles, ranging from unpredictably high staff turnover related to complications after compassion fatigue to program-specific certification requirements. While the offered activities suggest some solutions for reducing access and service gaps, a comprehensive assessment of current efforts is necessary. Prioritize visiting and interviewing veterans to learn about their solutions to the problem. On a national level, the suggested set of rules will need to be enacted. Every region should provide mental health assistance for veterans, especially when major concerns arise, such as suicidal behavior as a result of homelessness or despair. Furthermore, the weaknesses in employee training, turnover, and scheduling that have been found necessitate a comprehensive strategy for resolving the problems.


Ghahramanlou-Holloway, M., LaCroix, J. M., Koss, K., Perera, K. U., Rowan, A., VanSickle, M. R., Novak, L., & Trieu, T. H. (2018). Outpatient mental health treatment utilization and military career impact in the United States Marine Corps. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 828.

Sherman, M. D., & Larsen, J. L. (2018). Family-focused interventions and resources for veterans and their families. Psychological Services, 15(2), 146–153.

Williamson, V., Stevelink, S. A., Greenberg, K., & Greenberg, N. (2018). Prevalence of mental health disorders in elderly US military veterans: a meta-analysis and systematic review. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(5), 534-545. Web.

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"A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans." PsychologyWriting, 10 Mar. 2023, psychologywriting.com/a-gap-in-equity-related-to-mental-health-access-for-veterans/.


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans'. 10 March.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans." March 10, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/a-gap-in-equity-related-to-mental-health-access-for-veterans/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans." March 10, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/a-gap-in-equity-related-to-mental-health-access-for-veterans/.


PsychologyWriting. "A Gap in Equity Related to Mental Health Access for Veterans." March 10, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/a-gap-in-equity-related-to-mental-health-access-for-veterans/.