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House passes new mental health screening for recruits
Stars and Stripes ^ | May 22, 2014 | By Travis J. Tritten

Posted on 05/22/2014 7:57:20 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar

WASHINGTON — New mental health screening that supporters say could help stem the high rate of military suicides or even stop shooting rampages passed the House on Thursday as part of the massive 2015 defense budget.

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., orders the National Institutes of Health to create a universal mental health evaluation for potential recruits that would catch past suicide attempts and psychiatric disorders. The data could be used by the services to weed out candidates with potentially dangerous mental health issues.

Already, potential recruits are asked about past suicide attempts or mental disorders, and the military conducts security background checks. But recent studies have indicated such informal screening has not been entirely effective, and problems manifest or are detected after the recruit has entered service.

“Let’s take it right back to the point of induction,” Thompson said. “There is no mental health exam and that was startling.”

Thompson said his bill would create a comprehensive mental exam to match the existing physical exams required for induction and could bar those prone to suicide or acts of violence from joining in the first place.

The military is struggling with an epidemic of suicides and a surge in mental health disability claims following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A tragic new trend is also developing: mass shootings by servicemembers on military facilities, including two separate incidents at Fort Hood that left 16 people dead and an incident at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people.

Many troops and veterans who commit suicide made attempts before enlisting, he said. The connection between mental disorders and military base shootings is more unclear but experts said Spc. Ivan Lopez, who killed three and wounded 16 at Fort Hood in April before turning the weapon on himself, fit the psychological profile of a rampage shooter. Aaron Alexis, the former sailor and defense contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C. last year, was thought to have mental health problems not caught by the military.

A series of Army studies published in March by the Journal of the American Medical Association found one in five soldiers has a common mental disorder and more than one in 100 had a past suicide attempt. Those same studies also found suicides among servicemembers who have never deployed to war zones have risen, despite perceptions that combat trauma drives suicide rates.

The bill, which was approved as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, directs the mental health arm of the National Institutes of Health to develop a screening procedure for those who want to join the military and report back to the Department of Defense and Congress. The recommendation would also focus on creating a mental health baseline for new troops that would help track traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Defense and military services would still be responsible for deciding exactly how to use the screening data and for developing a criteria for allowing recruits to join, Thompson said.

“There may be some people who cannot serve their country due to this screening,” he said. But the goal of the legislation is to keep servicemembers “healthy and well.”

The proposal has also been introduced in the Senate by Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and to become law must be part of a final defense budget that is supposed to be passed by the Congress and the White House later this year.

Meanwhile, it has gained the support of servicemember and veteran groups including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the National Guard Association, and the Military Officers Association of America.

Nick McCormick, a legislative associate with IAVA, said the bill would give the military a new tool to examine potential recruits and ensure the health of the ranks.

“It allows the military to establish a baseline so upfront you know who you are dealing with,” McCormick said. “If you’re a believer that more numbers are better, then this is something that you could definitely get behind.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: mentalhealth; military; recruit; veterans

1 posted on 05/22/2014 7:57:20 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; Defender2; ...

Active Duty ping.


2 posted on 05/22/2014 7:58:30 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

This is nothing more than demonization of our military. We have already seen that the present government wishes to take away weapons rights for veterans. That is what this is about.


3 posted on 05/22/2014 8:01:25 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Jet Jaguar
“It allows the military to establish a baseline so upfront you know who you are dealing with,” McCormick said. “If you’re a believer that more numbers are better, then this is something that you could definitely get behind.”

Oh, in the modern military, we know "who we are dealing with" and we also understand exactly what they want to "get behind".

4 posted on 05/22/2014 8:01:58 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Fegelein! Fegelein! Fegelein!)
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To: Jet Jaguar

I’ve been calling for this for years. There are too many mental defectives being allowed to join the military. When I joined in 1967, I took three days of psychological screening and another battery of exams when I joined the submarine service. We need to get back to that to eliminate all these suicidal personalities.


5 posted on 05/22/2014 8:02:05 PM PDT by MNnice
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To: Jet Jaguar

They need to classify believing in Islam as a mental disorder.


6 posted on 05/22/2014 8:03:29 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Do you think Harry Reid could pass this test?


7 posted on 05/22/2014 8:09:12 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Democrats' Obamacare Socialist Health Insur. Tax violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

‘Mental Health’ will never be a substitute for Character and Integrity and Faith.

Normal upright kids will be turned into monsters if subjected to the constant stresses of service with no real moral support from superiors.

That they are clean going into the psychological meat grinder doesn’t say anything about how they will emerge on the other end.

This just gives Congress a pass on failure to promote integrity and morality in the armed forces.


8 posted on 05/22/2014 8:09:48 PM PDT by bakeneko
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To: Jet Jaguar

We need mental health screening for Congress (and the Presidency).


9 posted on 05/22/2014 8:12:58 PM PDT by JT Hatter (Who is Barack Obama? And What is He Really Up To?)
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To: Jet Jaguar

It is hard to imagine anyone joining the military today with Obumbo as Commander In Chief.


10 posted on 05/22/2014 8:20:47 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: MNnice

I totally agree with you. If recruits have to pass a physical, why not a psych exam? It used to be a normal thing.

Hubs is active duty and says that too many kids are misdiagnosed and over medicated as children. That it’ll eliminate good recruits.

I can see that point. If you’re going by their childhood records. But a current test shouldn’t be a problem.


11 posted on 05/22/2014 8:23:55 PM PDT by Marie (When are they going to take back Obama's peace prize?)
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To: Jet Jaguar

And why does this article not mention the several instances of Muslim’s killing several US soldiers at one time, not only at Ft. Bliss, Texas., but in Afghanistan by Afghani Muslims or by Muslims at recruiting centers in Arkansas, ad infinitum?

I suppose Stars and Stripes is now owned by ultra lib progressives as well.


12 posted on 05/22/2014 8:30:10 PM PDT by miele man
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To: Jet Jaguar

Guess what happens if they determine that you’re homophobic.


13 posted on 05/22/2014 8:31:37 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: JT Hatter

We need mental health screening for Congress (and the Presidency).”

Really wish they would give all of them an MMPI and MCMI and publish the results. Don’t have to worry about Biden taking any tests. His results would have to be declared invalid.


14 posted on 05/22/2014 8:31:57 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Marie

But a current test shouldn’t be a problem.”

All depends on who is doing the interpretation of the results.


15 posted on 05/22/2014 8:33:32 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Jet Jaguar
., orders the National Institutes of Health to create a universal mental health evaluation for potential recruits that would catch past suicide attempts and psychiatric disorders.

And sexual preference will not be a question?

16 posted on 05/22/2014 8:43:04 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: SkyPilot

It allows the military to establish a baseline so upfront ...........you know who you are dealing with

Recruits pass muster IF they take a secret vow fealty to the POTUS..if one refuses...one is deemed mentally unfit...and shipped off to the farm.


17 posted on 05/22/2014 8:49:46 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: MNnice

Every one in the Navy knows it takes a certain type of temperment to work on a sub. Not meant for your average sailor. You can’t be too claustrophobic. You have almost no privacy. You must be a quick study on your billet, because everyone literally depends on. the others properly doing their jobs. Even the air you breathe in a sub is the result of proper job performance. I was and am an intelligent man, but not on that; consistant level.


18 posted on 05/22/2014 9:40:43 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: Jet Jaguar

Boot camp weeds out most of the whackos.


19 posted on 05/22/2014 9:52:54 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: mylife

It does.

I remember about 7 or 8 didn’t make it in mine.


20 posted on 05/22/2014 9:54:51 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Graewoulf

No.


21 posted on 05/22/2014 9:55:12 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: miele man

They lean left.


22 posted on 05/22/2014 9:56:38 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Obama is shocked that guys can spend 10 years in a war zone, get mucked up, come home and get mucked around by the Gov they served and develop “issues”?

I think we need heavier screening for POTUS personally, and better support of our Military.


23 posted on 05/22/2014 9:57:15 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Hooboy, that weeds out most of them.


24 posted on 05/22/2014 10:01:56 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Jet Jaguar
House passes new mental health screening for recruits

The House may be better served by passing mandatory mental health screening for proposed candidates for Congress (both houses!)
Military recruits or volunteers only have the potential to cause relatively minor threat of harm or threat to life of their immediate fellow military companions.

Members of Congress with mental health issues can threaten the life and health of millions!

Seriously, are examples really necessary?

25 posted on 05/22/2014 10:24:24 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: MNnice
We need to get back to that to eliminate all these suicidal personalities.

Things have changed dramatically since the 60s!

Today, the "all volunteer" army concept has become an alternative to welfare, a haven for the pro-sodomy crowd or prison.

26 posted on 05/22/2014 10:29:20 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: Graewoulf
Do you think Harry Reid could pass this test?

I will be kind and assume that's a rhetorical question.

27 posted on 05/22/2014 10:30:50 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: Grams A
Don’t have to worry about Biden taking any tests. His results would have to be declared invalid.

Or more acceptably to the culture of mindless PC, "grandfathered" in.

28 posted on 05/22/2014 10:33:44 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

The main mental issue is Homosexuality, that in itself is a critical mental instability.


29 posted on 05/23/2014 1:29:27 AM PDT by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: P-Marlowe
They need to classify believing in Islam as a mental disorder.

More likely to use it to insure a higher percentage of leftists in the mix.

30 posted on 05/23/2014 3:28:53 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: MNnice
I’ve been calling for this for years. There are too many mental defectives being allowed to join the military. When I joined in 1967, I took three days of psychological screening and another battery of exams when I joined the submarine service. We need to get back to that to eliminate all these suicidal personalities.

WE also need to do a much better job of vetting new recruits for initial security clearances - most haven't had time for the worst to manifest itself and/or be recorded.

31 posted on 05/23/2014 3:30:52 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: SkyPilot

The Obama Administration doesn’t have a problem with thugs... or even VA killers... This is suspect.


32 posted on 05/23/2014 3:45:07 AM PDT by GOPJ (If dems will "death panel" our vets they'll damn sure death panel the rest of us...)
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To: Jet Jaguar
There is nothing, no matter how needed or purposeful, that the left will not corrupt including psych screenings. Current army training classifies most Christians as extremists(would extremists pass a psych test?).

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/5/dod-presentation-classifies-catholics-evangelicals/?page=all

33 posted on 05/23/2014 3:58:56 AM PDT by Duke of Milan
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To: MNnice

What happens if some one freaks out with claustrophobia on a cruise?


34 posted on 05/23/2014 1:07:31 PM PDT by USAF80
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