"Pfc. Jeffery Meier, who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction after two deployments to Iraq, got an appointment in August to see a psychiatrist at Fort Carson, Colo."
"But when he arrived for his first session, he was asked to sign a waiver explaining that under certain circumstances, including if he admitted violating military laws, his conversations with his therapist might not be kept confidential. He refused to sign."
"Some legal and mental health experts say the military’s rules on psychotherapist-patient privilege are not clear-cut. Michelle Lindo McCluer, a former Air Force lawyer who is the executive director of the National Institute of Military Justice, said that some exceptions to the privilege are so broadly worded that “you could drive a truck through them.”
"Ms. McCluer said that when she was a defense lawyer for the Air Force from 2000 to 2003, she advised clients to seek mental health counseling from chaplains because the privilege rules on their communications are stronger than for therapists."
See Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/us..._r=1&th&emc=th
Hell of a deal when a traumatized GI has to fear going to the "Slammer" if they disclose his/her darkest moments and inner terror to their Military "therapist AKA snitch".
Better to have TRICARE pay for a civilian therapist or consult with their Chaplain or civilian Pastor where there are better protections of confidentiality.
There is always a "Tango Foxtrot" out there to get the GI.
Last edited by VFFSSGT; 12-10-2009 at 10:33 AM.
The only way I can imagine going to on-base Mental Health...is if things go so bad that I just didn't care about my career and job anymore...
I'm a bit mixed on this whole situation...on one hand, you'd like to think people could get help without fear of jeopardizing their career...this only leads people to delay or avoid getting help.
OTOH, once it is known that you are having certain issues...how can the military in good conscience continue issuing you a rifle or assigning you to critical tasks?
The biggest problem I have with military Mental Health is that they try to sell it as it will "not adversely affect your career"...which is not the truth. The truth is that is may very adversely affect your career...and the selling point should be "But your life, health and well-being are more important...and we can help you with that."
On-base mental health is great if you're not talking about committing crimes or threatening harm to yourself or others.
If you are one of the above, well you probably shouldn't continue what you're currently doing till its figured out.
He who is remembered, is immortal. But he who is forgotton, never lived.
We are the beasts, the bastards, the terrors in the night. And we're all that stand between you and what you fear most.
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I voted for Shrike and all I got was this stupid Ambassadorship!
Shrike's Czar of the War on Flat-Chestedness
Going through Military One Source isn't exactly fool-proof either. If you're going for a Top Secret Clearance and are undergoing an extensive background check, they too will spill the beans about you. Don't believe me? Call them up and listen to their mandatory disclosure statements.
The people at Mental Health seldom notify a troop's chain of command about their visit. The only time they do is if they think the troop is a danger to himself or others. And in that case, don't you think they should?
I've encouraged countless troops to take advantage of Mental Health's services in my 10+ years a a 1st Sgt. For some it didn't help much but most said they felt better afterwards and were glad they went. Almost never did my commander or I get any feedback from the clinic. I've never advised a troop to talk with a chaplian instead of going to Mental Health, but I always explain to them the difference between a chaplain's 100% confidentiality and Mental Health's limited confidentiality -- then they decide who they want to see.
It's true that military Mental Health personnel don't have 100% confidentiality, but neither do their civilian couterparts. But military Mental Health providers are sometimes subjected to command requests for information. I can't recall the details, but I remember about 10-15 years ago there was a high-profile case of a military psychiatrist refusing to give information to a patient's commander because it violated his patient-provider confidentiality. I forget the outcome, but I don't think it ended well for the psychiatrist.
The bottom line is that people in the military Mental Health community know full well that the main reason troops don't use their services is because they're afraid of their chain-of-command finding out. In order to not feed that misconception, they never release information unless they feel it's absolutely necessary to protect people's lives or prevent damage that could severely impact our ablity to accomplish our mission (once had a guy tell a psychiatrist he was going to sabotage an F-15E engine ... we heard about that one.) But I've personally spoken with Mental Health providers regarding troops I was worried about and whom I knew were being treated, and most often all they'll tell me is he isn't a danger to himself or others -- no other details.
nevermind, will sound like rant..deleted
Last edited by Joker76; 12-10-2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: cause i can
MH are some of the dimmest bulbs on the tree! You would think being associated with the military they would have a better idea of what military members jobs entail and have some idea of how to differentiate military members from civilians!
Case in point, when i applied for cross training they sent me to all these medical appts, security clearance people, shrink, the whole 9. I think it was commando look back then.
So the lady asks me "tell me Amn _______, why do you want to be a gunner?" I'm sitting there looking at her, trying to figure out if she is serious. Finally i just answered her, "to hang out the side of a helo and shoot people, why else!"
Now common sense dictates, when someone is applying for a job as a gunner, they already expect they will shoot at people and be shot at or they wouldnt be applying for the effing job! Its not a secret what a gunner does after all. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh no i didnt say that! So immediately her head snaps towards me, she begins scribbling fevorishly on her pad and proceeds to ramble on and on, well it was rambling to me because i dont speak shrink. A few more questions followed, along the lines of why on earth would i want to do something like that, why would i say such a thing... To which i replied, the job requires me to sit behind a weapon with the risk of being shot or shooting someone else, if i wasnt prepared to do it, why would i sign up!
Long story short, she labels me a sociopathic personality, blah blah blah and i spent almost 6 months waiting for a waiver to be approved so i could be a gunner. I'm mean are you kidding me? Yeah mental health is just full of smart people! Next they will be telling Marines that being so gung ho and eager to cut their teeth in battle is psychotic behavior and they need some therapy and medication! People dont take combat AFSCs so they can watch a war on CNN!
I wouldnt recommend a my worst enemy go to mental health hobby shop! If you werent screwed up when you went in, you will be when you come out!
1911 Has a faster response time than 911!
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." - H.L. Mencken
You can't even call to ask if a troop is there to see if they made their appointment, very difficult when trying to track someone down.
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