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Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend Warriors More at Risk for PTSD

From USA Today:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be taking a greater toll on the mental health of the so-called weekend warriors than on that of active-duty troops, the Army's leading expert on combat stress said during a congressional hearing Thursday.

Army Col. Charles Hoge testified that 41% of National Guardsmen and reservists raised concerns about their mental health in answers to a survey taken three to six months after they returned from combat. That compares with 32% of active-duty troops who responded to the survey, says Hoge, a psychiatrist with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition, a third of the citizen soldiers complained of problems serious enough that they were referred for mental health counseling; only 13% of active-duty soldiers were referred. The findings come as the Army, under enormous strain from fighting on two war fronts at once, considers greater use of its part-time soldiers in combat.

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