According to a 2008 study conducted by the RAND Corporation, many returning veterans that had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom had significant mental health issues. Of the 1,945 that were surveyed, 14% met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 14% met the criteria for major depression, and 19% had a probable traumatic brain injury (TBI). About one-third of these returning veterans had at least one of these conditions.
Last year, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) launched the Real Warriors Campaign directed towards service members, veterans, their families, and health professionals. The goal of the campaign is to reduce stigma associated with psychological health problems and traumatic brain injury. The campaign encourages and supports service members to seek help through the many resources that are available to them and their families. Along with helpful resources and a 24/7 information and help line, the Real Warriors campaign’s website draws upon the courageous stories of service members and veterans that found the strength to seek help and how it made a positive difference in their lives.