Connecting active duty and returning veterans to mental health treatment: interventions and treatment adaptations that may reduce barriers to care

Clin Psychol Rev. 2012 Dec;32(8):741-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Sep 11.


Recent military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have involved multiple deployments and significant combat exposure, resulting in high rates of mental health problems. However, rates of treatment-seeking among military personnel are relatively low, and the military environment poses several obstacles to engaging in effective clinical interventions. The current paper first reviews barriers and facilitators of treatment-seeking and engagement among military personnel, including stigma, practical barriers, perceptions of mental health problems, and attitudes towards treatment. Next, this paper reviews treatment adaptations and other interventions that are intended to reduce barriers to care among active duty and returning military personnel. These include early interventions, brief formats, integrating clinicians into the medical and military context, technology-based interventions, addressing negative treatment perceptions, screening/early identification, and enlisting unit support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Social Stigma
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Veterans / psychology*