According to Retired Army Lt. Colonel Irene Evankovich, of Anniston, Alabama, soldiers seldom seek mental health help for themselves or their families because it is viewed as a sign of weakness and funding is not a priority but under a bill proposed by senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois additional funding will be made available.

Their proposed bill may not remove the stigma of seeking mental health counseling but it would require the Department of Defense to improve medical care for all soldiers. One significant inclusion to this bill, however, addresses several reports documenting sexual abuse of female soldiers within the US Central Command area that includes Iraq and Afghanistan and would result in the development of a mental health treatment program for female soldiers. This treatment would most specifically be aimed at dealing with the after effects of sexual abuse and/or the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

This bill is long overdue when one considers that of the over three thousand soldiers who have died in Iraq 71 of them were female with an additional 47 females having been wounded in the line of duty.

[tags]Mental Health, soldiers, female soldiers, military, Claire McCaskill, Obama, wounded soldiers, [/tags]