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NAMI comments on soldier’s actions in Afghanistan

March 22, 2012
by Nick Zubko, Associate Editor
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Almost two weeks ago, the national media reported that a U.S. soldier had apparently “massacred” 16 Afghan civilians as they slept in the middle of the night—and that most of the victims had been women and children.

Since then, there has been much speculation about the mental health of the 38-year-old staff sergeant who served three tours in Iraq. Today, CNN interviewed its mental health expert, Charles Raison, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson, to find out if there is “a link between PTSD, TBI and violence.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also issued a statement, in which Michael J. Fitzpatrick, NAMI’s executive director, said “the system of identification, diagnosis and intervention for ongoing invisible wounds of soldiers serving America, as well as concern, care and accountability, is not what it should be.”

Fitzpatrick referred to NAMI’s belief that “strong programs of education and advocacy, coupled with accountability at all levels of management and command in both civilian and military settings, will lead to removal of the stigma of seeking help for mental illness and invisible wounds and will lead to healing and recovery.”

“We pledge to continue our efforts for the good of our warriors, our veterans and their families and for all of those who are affected by the invisible wounds of war and mental illness," he concluded.

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Nick Zubko

Associate Editor

Nick Zubko

@BH_Zubko

www.behavioral.net

Nick Zubko is associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare.