Both the VA and nonprofit organizations provide many health care options for veterans, yet oftentimes, those who need assistance the most do not ask for help.
According to the The Daily Mail – Charleston, a recent report presented to the state's legislative committee found that at-risk veterans were the least likely to seek medical assistance. The news source stated that the primary reason these veterans – particularly those who were most likely to commit suicide – did not receive counseling or treatment was because of the stigma attached to mental illness.
The research presented to the committee was compiled from a 2012 survey of more than 1,200 former servicemembers residing in West Virginia, the news outlet reported. Many of the veterans responded that they ignored medical assistance because they believed treatment wouldn't help or that others wouldn't comprehend their needs.
About 40 percent of the veterans surveyed have symptoms of depression, the report stated, while 25 percent have post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 20 percent were at-risk for inflicting self-harm. None of these former servicemembers have sought assistance for their mental illnesses.
In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affair released a report stating that nearly 30 percent of Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated in VA hospitals and medical centers had PTSD.