HEALTH NEWS

Iraq War Veteran On Mental Health Care: You're Discouraged From Seeking Help (VIDEO)

01/14/2013 09:25 pm ET

Military suicides reached a record high last year, prompting some members of Congress to demand more needs to be done to ensure active-duty troops and veterans don't fall through the cracks. But as one Iraq war veteran told HuffPost Live, it can be difficult for veterans to obtain the mental health care they need.

Speaking to HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski, Curtis Sirmans said he waited until he left the military to receive mental health treatment so that he could avoid the stigma associated with doing so.

"Soldiers are encouraged by lower-level leadership and their peers not to get help because of the stigma," Sirmans told HuffPost Live. "If you go to get help, you'll be chastised by your peers."

As a recent Atlantic article reports, part of the problem is that the military doesn't guarantee medical confidentiality or give soldiers the option to be treated by a civilian doctor.

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