By Department of the ArmyMay 1, 2012
May is National Mental Health Month. Commanders and leaders across the Army are encouraged to use the month of May as an opportunity to educate Soldiers, Army civilians and family members about the Army's Behavioral Health (BH) resources and programs available on Army installations, military treatment facilities and within their local communities.
The Army offers an array of BH services in garrison and operational environments to address the strain on Soldiers and families who have experienced multiple deployments and other demands of military life. These services include theater combat and operational stress control, routine behavioral healthcare, periodic assessments, and suicide prevention programs. Chaplains, Military OneSource, and Family Morale Welfare Recreation Command also offer substantial support to Soldiers and families.
By establishing annual screening for all Soldiers, regardless of deployment status, through existing Periodic Health Assessments, the Army is exceeding the standard established by the National Defense Authorization Act for enhanced BH screening. These enhanced BH screenings help in the early identification of PTSD, major depression, family issues, and concerns related to overall BH.
In the past year, the Army implemented the Behavioral Health System of Care (BHSOC) Campaign Plan which is intended to further standardize and optimize the rich spectrum of Behavioral Health policies and procedures across the Medical Command. This will help to better identify, prevent, treat and track behavioral health issues for Soldiers and family members.
In fiscal year 2012 (FY12), the Army is increasing BH teams assigned to all its brigade size operational units that will provide two BH providers and two BH technicians assigned to every Brigade Combat Team, Support Brigade and Sustainment Brigade in the active, reserve and National Guard Army inventory. This increase will be complete by FY17 and increase the total available uniformed BH force by more than 1,000 additional personnel.