This article explores the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the provision of mental health care for veterans, both in terms of the physical environment in which care is delivered and in terms of the potential impact of COVID-19 on mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
We have chosen to focus on one important, but symbolic, example to demonstrate how this crisis poses a unique and real threat to the well-being of Veterans, and how that threat can be greatly mitigated through action. At a time when most are being asked to socially isolate and avoid essential travel, it is difficult to determine where regular visits for mental health care fit in. The emergent threat of a coronavirus pandemic significantly impacts the environment in which mental health care for Veterans and former service personnel is provided. The challenge of containing the spread of infection places a major demand on all health resources – and particularly general practices – because it is likely to further limit their capacity to respond to the health needs of Veterans. This is of considerable importance because of the centrality of general practitioners to the provision of care. Furthermore, the current situation limits the availability of face-to-face care delivery and access to mental health facilities due to the threat of COVID-19 infection.
Impact of COVID-19 on mental health care for Veterans: Improvise, adapt, and overcome McfarlaneAlexander, JetlyRakesh, CastroCarl A., GreenbergNeil, and VermettenEric Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2020 6:S2, 17-20