Helping soldiers battling mental health disorders

The Arsenal is working to meet the needs of active duty service members.

Rock Island - It's no secret the toll war can take on a soldier's body and mind.

Many service members face trauma well after they return home from deployment. 

A study from the United States Department of Defense found that nearly 20 percent of active duty service members are diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

The Army sees the highest rate of any branch at around 25 percent.

One service at the Rock Island Arsenal is trying to address that issues head-on. 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Scott Stange said, "At this type of installation, we see people that may have had four or five combat-related deployments."

Deployments that can push active duty personnel to seek the help of Rock Island Arsenal clinical social worker Scott Stange.

He has been addressing the mental health needs of soldiers for the last eight years.

"Cumulative effect of a lot of traumatic events can result can in some post-traumatic stress symptoms," Stange said. 

From highly stressful situations to near-death experiences, but the behavioral and mental health struggles Stange addresses aren't just defined by war. 

They can also come from soldiers' new assignments and everyday life.

"Dealing with that new duty station, new job responsibilities, but then you're dealing with family who may feel very isolated just moving to a new community," Stange said. "You have children dealing with brand new schools."

Part of the Arsenal's U.S. Army Health Clinic, the behavioral health care services aim to meet the needs of soldiers and their families.

While some soldiers are referred or seek help on their own, there is still sometimes a roadblock to active duty service members getting that help.

Stange said, "Be stigma with reaching out and asking for help that somehow that reflects that they're not strong or they're not able to soldier on."

Stange says there has been progress within the Army to meet the behavioral health issues of soldiers with a focus on early intervention and providing simply a place to talk.

Stange said, "To talk openly about their experiences. To be able to talk about some of those earlier life events or traumas and discuss strategies for dealing with them."

Stange adds the Arsenal also partners with local facilities for soldiers and their families who need specialized mental health care.


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center