Episode 15 - Addressing the Mental Health Crisis of Military Veterans

The mental health of military personnel is a women’s issue. Not only are veterans our brothers, sons, fathers, and husbands, but with women comprising 14% of active-duty personnel, they are also our sisters, daughters, mothers and wives. And in light of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rescinding the 1994 Pentagon policy that bans women from combat, the mental health of military service personnel is very likely to further expand as a women’s issue. While officials are divided over whether women will ultimately serve as infantry troops and in elite special-operations units, the recent moves of the Pentagon suggest an expansion of the role of women into the deadliest and most traumatic parts of military missions. How is the trauma of war impacting our service men and women? What treatments exist to help with the wide range of trauma vets experience? Tune in for an in-depth discussion with retired Navy Commander and military psychologist Dr. Mark Russell to explore this important topic.

Mark C. Russell, Ph.D., ABPP, ABCCAP is Director of the Institute of War Stress Injuries and Social Justice, an institute dedicated to ending repetitive failures in meeting mental health needs of war veterans. Dr. Russell is widely published on the topic of war trauma and most recently has co-authored the book Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner’s Guide (2013) Dr. Russell is a retired Navy Commander, and military psychologist with over 26 years of military service. Dr. Russell testified before the congressionally-mandated Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health regarding his efforts to prevent a mental health crisis as chronicled by USA Today. In 2006, Dr. Russell was awarded the "Distinguished Psychologist Award" by the Washington State Psychological Association, and he is a graduate of the post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Originally aired on February 19, 2013 on VoiceAmerica Radio.