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Mental Health Top Reason for US Troop Hospitalization in 2023: Study

Mental Health Top Reason for US Troop Hospitalization in 2023: Study

Mental health problems have been found to be the top reason why active-duty US military personnel were hospitalized in 2023.

A new Defense Health Agency (DHA) report reveals that nearly one-third of the roughly 62,800 cases of troop hospitalization last year were for mental health treatment.

Of all military services, the US Army accounted for most of the mental health cases with a little more than 8,000. The US Navy and Air Force followed suit with 5,257 and 3,554 cases, respectively.

The majority of male patients were diagnosed with adjustment disorders and alcohol abuse, while most female soldiers who had been admitted to a hospital had major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress.

Their average length of stay was five days, with some personnel needing as many as 34 days to recover.

A Holistic Approach

Mental healthcare has been a persistent issue for the US Armed Forces.

In February, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the military was facing a shortage of mental health workers, forcing troops to seek help elsewhere.

And when they do, the DHA reportedly fails to monitor their progress, including how long soldiers have to wait before receiving treatment.

A separate analysis found that hundreds of troops and their families living in barracks will most likely find access to proper mental health care very challenging.

In light of this, the DHA urged the military to take a “holistic, integrated approach” when treating mental health problems.

It also suggested taking into account the unique health challenges faced by active-duty personnel to “better meet their health needs.”

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