This study examined the mental health treatment experiences of active-duty U.S. service members who received treatment from primary care or specialty mental health providers.
A national sample of active-duty service members (N=1,659) was surveyed about mental health treatment experiences.
About 17% of respondents reported receipt of mental health care in the prior 12 months. Three times as many service members had seen a specialty mental health provider (14%) as had seen a primary care provider (5%). Of those who had seen a specialty provider, 79% thought treatment helped “a lot or some” and none stated that treatment was “not at all” helpful. Of those who had seen a primary care provider, only 51% thought treatment had helped a lot or some and 15% viewed treatment as not helping at all.
Patterns of utilization and perceptions of treatment should be considered when addressing the unmet mental health needs of service members.