Barriers and Facilitators in Providing Community Mental Health Care to Returning Veterans with a History of Traumatic Brain Injury and Co-occurring Mental Health Symptoms

Community Ment Health J. 2016 Feb;52(2):158-64. doi: 10.1007/s10597-015-9926-9. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


As Veterans from recent conflicts return from deployments, increasing numbers are seeking care for physical (e.g., history of traumatic brain injury) and mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety) symptoms. Data suggest that only about half of recent Veterans are seeking care within the Veterans Health Administration. As such, providers within the community are likely to require additional training to meet the unique needs of these Veterans and their families. Towards this end, meetings were held with administrators and clinicians at Colorado Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to identify current barriers and facilitators, as they relate to working with Veterans with a history of TBI and co-occurring mental health conditions. On-whole, CMHC employees had limited experience with providing care to the cohort of interest. Additional training will assist with increasing capacity and a web-based toolkit was developed to facilitate the transfer of knowledge ( ).

Keywords: Mental health; Providers; Traumatic brain injury; Veterans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / psychology
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / therapy
  • Colorado
  • Community Mental Health Centers*
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Work, Psychiatric* / methods
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Young Adult