Sunday, July 22, 2007

Report: Less than one-third of Marines have had post-deployment comprehensive assessment for mental or physical problems

Above: Marines with Military Police Company 2D Maintenance Battalion stop and search a truck and its driver along a maine route in Anbar in June.

A year after launching a program to reassess the mental and physical health of Marines 90 days after they return from a deployment, less than a third of post-deployment Marines have taken the assessment, said a Navy mental health professional.

Now, Corps officials are hustling to boost the number who actually participate after multiple reports have proven the screening’s effectiveness, said Navy Capt. Amy Lindberg, director of the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment program for the Marine Corps.

Military medical officials say the reassessment is even more important than the initial Post-Deployment Health Assessment, since the later screening can catch long-term health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder or chemical exposures to a Marine’s skin or lungs. The initial assessments are typically done within the first month after returning.

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times