Monday, May 11, 2009

Sad Day: Military Mental Center Attacked by U.S. Soldier

BAGHDAD (AP) - A U.S. soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a U.S. base Monday, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

The shooting occurred at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport and adjacent to another facility where President Barack Obama visited last month.

In Washington, Pentagon officials said the shooting happened at a stress clinic, where troops can go for help with the stresses of combat or personal issues. It was unclear whether those killed were workers at the clinic or were there for counseling. No details were released about the gunman or what might have provoked the shooting.

This story, sadly, underscores the ever-increasing need to better psychological services for members of our military. This man was clearly dealing with some mental issues, which was why he was at the stress clinic to begin with. We need to continue to fund mental health programs for our veterans and active duty military.

According to the RAND Corporation, which does research on Mental Health in the Military:

Of the 1.64 million servicemembers who had been deployed for OEF/OIF as of October 2007, we estimate that approximately 300,000 individuals currently suffer from PTSD or major depression

This problem is not going away, and we must do all we can to address it!


Military Health said...

Thanks for your comments. In recognition of national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Military Health System has set up a page dedicated to the comprehensive services available for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological disorders such as PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and anxiety. Check it out at