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                  Soldiers Seeking Help is a Good Thing
  Seeking healthcare services such as visiting a psychiatrist is a good thing, but stigma and beliefs are the chief hurdles. Fear and
confusion sometimes lead to prejudice and stereotyping, even among service providers, for individuals with mental illnesses and behavioral issues. The stigma is one of the key reasons people do not see the mental problem as a legitimate health issue. This discrimination and prejudice result in hopelessness and embarrassment among those struggling to cope, creating a considerable obstacle to diagnosis, and seeking health care. Stigma has
a significant impact on people’s wellbeing, during their treatment, and even when healing from
the mental ailment. Mental health stigma has
been firmly grounded in military culture and is associated with one’s desire to handle behavioral
or mental health problems independently. Military members who demonstrated psychological health concerns are most likely to perceive stigma and foresee adverse outcomes for seeking care, together with career harm(Fox et al., 2018).
Due to recent combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, current military workers are likely to have been positioned numerous times at the traumatic sites; thus, they have experienced high-intensity battlefield exposure during these
1SG Brian E. Blackmore
deployments (Arkin, 2010). Repeated exposure to potentially stressful events puts military service members at higher risk of developing psychological conditions, including PTSD, depression, and drug use issues. Studies of military members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan have revealed that around 20 to 40 percent of staff met the criteria for a mental health diagnosis (Rayburn et al., 2019). Despite the significant mental health requirements of previously deployed service members, only a tiny percentage of individuals with psychiatric challenges, approximately 13 to 50%, avail mental health services (Reit, 2017).
The lower rates of mental health treatment seeking in military populaces propose that military personnel’s mental healthcare barriers are likely to inhibit service usage. Stigma, label, and humiliation are the most prevalently identified barriers to mental health service usage in military studies and may influence behavioral service use determinants (Schnyder et al., 2017). Two forms of mental
health stigma have been recognized, namely, the public stigma that involves adverse reactions from other individuals toward mental ailment; and self-stigma, which refers to the internalization of public portrayals of mental ailment (Del Rosal et al., 2020).
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