Dr. Charles Figley has partnered with trauma expert and military veteran Mark Russell on a book about the state of mental health care in the military. They explore such topics as extensive waiting lists for help, organizational scandals, spikes in veteran suicide, over-prescription of narcotics, shortages of mental health professionals and inadequate treatment. Their book entitled Psychiatric Casualties: How and Why the Military Ignores the Full Cost of War is currently available from Columbia University Press.
Dr. Figley said the book has three primary purposes – to generate public awareness about the nature and causes of preventable wartime crises and the military’s attempt to resolve its mental health dilemma, to identify solutions to improve the quality of mental health inside and outside the military, and to end the generational cycle of neglect and self-inflicted harm.
“Our analysis is not a bashing of the military or the people who serve, nor is it about political decisions about going to war,” the authors write in the book’s introduction. ""It is truly intended to be the first-ever, honest, self-reflection of military mental health, where we have been and where we need to go.”