Mental health and traumatic brain injuries are two of the biggest issues facing the military health care community, and experts from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs recently came together to discuss the progress made on both fronts. The discussion, held at the Military Health System Research Symposium earlier this months, focused squarely on the National Research Action Plan, which was launched last year to improve access to mental health services for servicemembers and their families.

At the heart of the plan is a push to form a working relationship between the DOD and VA with the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education to consolidate information. Part of this process includes the upcoming report from the Centers for Disease Control that should further the understanding of TBI. Thanks to the initiative, medical professionals will likely be able to provide uniform treatment.

"The National Research Action Plan demonstrates a dedication across multiple agencies to close critical research and care gaps, both in the military and civilian sector," said Health Affairs Director of Medical Research Dr. Terry Rauch. 

Developing new and innovative ways to address TBI has become especially important in recent years. An estimated 250,000 servicemembers sustained this injury between 2000 and 2012.