Mental Health & The Armed Forces | Kati Morton

Mental Health & The Armed Forces | Kati Morton

hey everybody happy Thursday today is another episode of coffee and a chat with Katie oh yeah but first I want to thank today's sponsor better help they provide anyone facing life's challenges with easy discreet and affordable access to professional counseling from a licensed therapist such as myself now today's topic is all about mental health and our armed forces and the question that I received says hey Katie mental health professionals often give great support to most people but I find that support doesn't always translate well to one particular population the military and veterans under extreme conditions active duty members have a hard time managing their mental health and their jobs too often like in the case of former sailor Peter Mims this leads to a sort of mental breakdown reaching out for help falls on deaf ears while the military keeps demanding more what I want to know is how do we help this special population how do we even help people who literally have no control over their own lives I thought this was a great question and I haven't talked much about mental health and our armed forces at all and so I did a ton of research I'm open to all of your thoughts about this in the comments but first before I even get into this I want to thank each and every member of our armed forces for giving of their time and possibly their lives in order to keep us all safe and free it's because of their sacrifices that I'm able to have a channel such as this and walk around safely in my community and honestly thank you just never seems like enough but know that I am extremely grateful for all your sacrifices now let's jump into that question if you want to read the full article that was released from the military times I'll link in the description but just for the sake of this video the short synopsis of what happened to Peter is that he was on a ship where all of the members all of his colleagues reported that it was a very demoralizing environment their superior officer made them work extremely long hours was horribly emotionally abusive and rude to them leaving them all feeling terrible after being deployed for a while Peter began to display some signs of paranoia he talked to other sailors saying he could shoot fireballs out of his hands and honestly just talk a lot of nonsense other friends of his on the ship talked about how he was going through some stress with family that his wife has talked about divorce and he was just having a really hard time and after all of this is going on for a week after week after week with Peter he disappears at first it was just that Peter didn't show up for his regular check-in and then people went looking for him and wondered where he was and after a week-long search he was found on the boat itself in the engine room in a part where people normally couldn't get to it was extremely hot and he was covered in his own urine and feces and at this point he's then treated like a criminal they put him in cuffs they pulled him off the ship and he will now be discharged and instead of being medically discharged as he clearly needs then that would guarantee that he would get the help that he needs from the Navy instead he's being administrative lease eppard and what that means for those of us who aren't in the Armed Services is they he'll get no help from them there are since essentially severing all ties so now he has no job no support and no health care so here we have someone who has risked their life to keep us safe and as a result of all the pressures of doing so has had a mental breakdown and we aren't helping him and the even more infuriating issue is that this isn't an isolated incident when I was talking to other members of our community who are in the Armed Forces they told me that not only are they subjected to traumatize in situations when they're actually at war but the thing that no one talks about is the high rate of assault among servicemembers and when something happens to us like that when we are traumatized we're left with no help for the debilitating PTSD that can follow the entire mental health system within our armed forces is lacking and I would even argue after doing research for this that it's completely broken now I consulted with three different members of the Armed Forces as well as with a former Navy sexual assault victim advocate and here's what I found out about their mental health care system first is that you're encouraged to seek mental health help and support but if you are diagnosed with PTSD which is one of the most common diagnoses and any of those triggers that are associated with your PTSD have anything with the use of weapons or loud noises whatever those triggers are if they think it could affect you in battle then you may not be able to ever carry a weapon again and so in essence you might not be able to do your job they may take that away from you meaning that then by getting help you could potentially lose your job and your ability to serve your country and I say the terms may and potentially because this all depends on what your job within the Armed Forces is which branch you're part of and where your PTSD comes from after talking to all these different people I learned that each branch has different rules and regulations and the second thing I learned is that they do have resources available like the DoD self helpline everyone's supposed to have on them it's like a card they get they're supposed to carry at all times and they all have some version of Sharpe representatives the acronyms change depending on which arm of the military you're in but these are the people who you report things to you report if you've been brave assaulted or harassed but as for basic mental health care you're only psychologically assessed for duty when you're getting your initial background check and security clearance now your superior officer can request another one to be completed if they feel that your mental health is deteriorating in any way but if we consider Peter Mims he was displaying all sorts of signs prior to his breakdown and he received no assistance his superior officer did not request that he get another psychological assessment even though other members on the ship had reported him saying he could shoot fireballs out of his hands and he felt like people were watching him and out to get him there were so many signs yet no one cared to help him and this also goes for those who've been sexually assaulted when I was doing all this research I found out that the sexual assault rates within our armed forces are staggering it happens all the time and people don't know how to speak up and even when they do things are often not done to give you an idea of how prevalent sexual assault is the advocate that I spoke with shared that during her time in the Navy 15 to 20 formal reports of sexual assault were reported each and every month now this doesn't account for all the harassment and assault that goes unreported because many people do even outside of the Armed Forces we know often people don't report when things happen and they also believe that the accounts from May are seriously underreported so on to more positive things what type of treatment can we get if we're struggling sadly when it comes to the VA the waits are long and the worry of getting a diagnosis that will end a career keep people from reporting harmful events and getting the help that they so desperately need and while each VA is gonna be different I heard from many of you that you've moved and they've been better but there just aren't enough mental health professionals to go around so often weights are long treatments are short and many struggle to even say how they're really feeling for fear that they'll lose their jobs now unfortunately I don't have a real answer for this issue but what I think is important is that we talk about it make people aware of it and push for better treatment of our troops they give their all so that we can be safe the least we can do is care for them when they finally return home we as a country gives so much money each and every year to the military and I honestly think that we should be more specific about how that money is spent we need to do better because of all the issues with accessibility and confidentiality I'm really excited that I was able to partner with better help on this video to bring you a more accessible not to mention more affordable therapy option now what better help is if you don't know cuz I partner with them before is it's an app that helps connect you with a therapist or counselor at an affordable weekly rate and once you fill out their short intake questionnaire you're connected with the counselor within 24 hours you are then able to receive professional counseling using your computer tablet mobile phone whatever anytime you need anywhere you are since all of the service members I spoke with shared their fear of having people around them know that they were seeking therapy or that it was too expensive to seek it outside of the VA better help is a great way to get confidential and affordable therapy no matter where you happen to be stationed better help has helped over 600 thousand people many of whom are members of our community and I think it's a great resource so click the link in the description and get started today because you deserve to get the help you need when you need it most and if you're open to it please leave your story in the comments are you part of our armed forces have you eliezer mental healthcare system please share because as always with your experience and my expertise we will continue working towards a healthy mind and a healthy body and I will see you next time bye


  1. I remember going to my Navy recruiter and like many, she urged me to not disclose anything (physical, mental, etc.) unless it was a serious and/or ongoing problem. I mentioned (to her) that I had a bout of anorexia during high school and went to counseling back then to address it. That was years ago, and she told me not to mention it (ever) so that my application would go through… Months later I'm in boot camp and have made it through a couple of weeks when I started having severe anxiety. I went to a counselor (at the base) who had a doctorate in psychology and was a prior sailor herself. She brushed off my current symptoms and sent me back to my division. I later went to a chaplain, as the situation hadn't improved — I was really trying to get better. There was sympathy but no real help there. I finally went back to the mental health unit and asked for a different psychologist. She was a civilian, not a veteran, and was actually the first person willing to help me. In conversation, I opened up to her about my former disorder. She quickly connected the dots and realized that the depression I was having in boot camp was credible and potentially life-threatening. I later went to SEPS for a couple of weeks before returning home. She very well might have saved my life. Contrary to what some might think, there's a part of me that will always feel guilty and want to go back in the military. Separating was never a part of the plan. But the military, in its current state, is ill-equipped to handle or help people like me through the process, much less the soldiers who carry the mental scars with them, from combat or non-combat experiences. Thank you, Kati, for speaking to this issue. We really need Congress to address this for current, past, and prospective members of the armed services.

  2. I served in the army 2006-2014 as a 88m worst choice ive ever made and i talk anyone out of enlisting that i meet.

  3. Great video. Just want to get the word out, I made a film on my channel to help bring awareness for military veterans suffering from PTSD, at the end of the film helps promote the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Enjoy the film!

  4. Commissars in our armed forces can do some level of mental health care (even Mr.Commissar don't know he is doing it) , it is a part of their job, at least, situation like Peter Mims would be detected early if you have commissars.
    Anyway, service members who sacrificed their best time in life to protect their country and freedom being disposed like this……It’s unbelievablely disgusting, even for a foreigner form a “evil country” in your propaganda.

  5. I'm in the military and I've been depressed for a while and a bit suicidal but its hard to tell anyone. I'm scared that if I tell anyone I wont be able to carry a weapon and with my job that's a big part so I feel like i'm forced to keep it to myself.

  6. You study in college for a few years, get a peice of paper and you think you know anything about war, combat, killing people close quarters, finding your friends body parts. You no nothing of the madness of war. I fell into this madness in battle, took some war trophy's most people wouldn't agree with.

  7. I am 17 years old and extremely interested in psychology. I plan on becoming a clinical psychologist in the US Air Force. Anyone reading this have any tips, advice or stories they could share with me?

  8. From my experiences…I was encouraged to get help when I was in the Army by a superior. All the higher ups harp on how it's ok to get help and it's really important, but that is ONLY because they HAVE to because it was an order they received falling down from the DoD. Mental health problems are VERY OFTEN seen as excuses, superiors will see it as if you're trying to get special treatment, or, more annoyingly, they see every appointment as a way to get out of work. Eventually they start forcing your hand to reschedule week after week, month after month, because they're salty about something they don't understand.

  9. I was in the USAF Reserve for 9 years and deployed 3 times and I did see a growth in services and concern over mental health issues. During my last deployment one member of my unit had to see a mental health professional in Afghanistan and his weapon was taken away from him due to a verbal altercation that he started. Additionally, another member of my unit was injured from by debris from a rocket attack and he also received some mental health help out in Afghanistan. From my experience in the military I noticed that to the degree that someone gets help depends on the branch of the military that they are in and more importantly on their chain of command. If you have a bad commander like Peter Mims did then you might not receive the help that you need. Additionally, I have noticed that those service members prior to the war on terror seem to be the most neglected in all regards when it comes to medical help. I don't know why that is? I have been trying to figure it out. Thank you for making this video.

  10. the truth about the arms forces is the american government makes people so poor so they feel like they must go into the military and then they dont keep their promises

    we also are less safe with the things the military is doing right now not more safe

    the truth sucks and i hope that the military can get fixed and have its contract budget sliced

    thx for this ha bisky vid what we can do is protest the wars and make sure that we keep asking to cut the military contracts we also need a living wage so people dont feel like this is their only option

  11. I have been in the Army for 18 years. It is hard to manage your mental health and your job, especially if you are in a position of leadership.

  12. Have you heared about service members receiving Stellate Ganglion Block procedure for dealing with PTSD and anxiety issues?

  13. I’m a veteran myself and that’s the reason they made me get out … they really didn’t treat me that well at all! I didn’t even have a choice and sometimes I still feel like I can’t get a real job because everyone is gonna look at me like I’m some freak or something. My VA is definitely not my favoritest place they don’t even listen to anything I say or take me seriously and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do?! And I’m having so many flashbacks and anxiety attacks and mental breakdowns (as in I cry every night I get home) at work. Please Kati I don’t know what else to do?!

  14. Katie such a perfect video. Sad but I love that we have Better Help available for our armed services personnel. I hope that people can take advantage and receive the help they need. Also, let's remember the crisis text line 741741 for those who are in the US and would like an additional source of support. Thx for all you do.

  15. As a current service member and a future therapist I have to let YOU and the other armed service you spoke know that there ARE mental health options that are available that do NOT report back to the chain of command. It sounds like that are not aware of the Vet Centers which is completely confidential. And if they aren't aware, the VA offers therapy and a lot of them have groups that address the very issues you talked about and most are walk in groups. Stigma is a big thing, but not getting help because you're worried about losing your job could be dangerous not only for the service member, but also for the people the service members works with. I personally do not feel comfortable working alongside (especially in a deployment zone) someone who is going through something so strong that impacts their functioning. Additionally, command directed mental health referrals are NOT confidential and will be reported to the chain of command because they want to know what is going on. Self-referred still follows rules of confidentiality, but of course, there are limits. Hope this makes some of it a little more clear, I know the military institution as a whole can be difficult to navigate as not everyone is aware of all of the different resources.

    Also, I don't know what the sailor was diagnosed with, but the military does NOT consider personality disorders for medical discharge. They view personality disorders as something the individual joining already has and the disorder is just expressing itself later as a lot personality disorders do. That is probably why he got the administrative discharge. Not saying its right, but that is how it is right now unfortunately.

  16. Unfortunately this is something that really hits home for me. I'm active duty, and got denied from training for a linguist job because the same year I enlisted I saw a councilor for depression even though I never took medication. Because of this I'm disqualified from sensitive skill jobs. I also have some buddies who are security forces who are very hesitant about getting help because they're afraid of being disarmed or kicked out. Luckily with the job i have now, I'm actually going to get help this week for the first time but it took a few years to feel like it was ok to get help without a lot negative consequences

  17. Katie, have you ever worked with medical professionals – especially physicians, residents, and med students? It's quite scary how similar the situation is between these 2 groups. When I was in med school, I remember the folks in charge actively telling us to seek help for our mental wellbeing. But then they go two face on us and tell us that there may be consequences for telling the truth. My school also had a graduate level psychology program attached. Some of their students would be therapists for med students (cheaper than going to a private therapist off campus). I remember having the shock of my life when I found out that the med students' records were not confidential.

  18. Hi Kati, I really appreciate you addressing this issue of trauma from military service and the fact that the help system for this is broken I am an army veteran I am fortunate enough to not have fought in wartime or in the military or to have mental issues connected with it, but I do see a great need please continue to address this issue and bless you! xoxo Don

  19. I work armed security. If I use my insurance for therapy will my insurance report it to my job and cause me to lose the ability to carry a gun at work? I go see a therapist for the first time in 2 days. I need my job.

  20. Well, whatever this young man may be dealing with – plenty of brothers and sisters to get his back. Including me.
    Is there a way to reach out?

  21. I would I do agree with this topic because my friends just recently committed Suicide because he strongly suffered from PTSD. I do know since I live in a military community and also being raised in a miitary area it is important that during the Holidays like July 4th that our community is being more mindful such as fireworks since soldiers can go back to war-due to gun shot. RIP JON. He didn't get the help because he didn't want to look weak and wanted to continue serving.

  22. I was literally administratively separated from the Navy on April 4th, a day before this came out.I was in the middle of treatment for alcoholism with depression and anxiety. The treatment was working, but my Chain of command didn’t care. They kicked me out for a “pattern of misconduct” due anger related incidents for to many years of mental abuse during my service. I was only 3 months away from the end of my contract and wanted to continue treatment after it was over, but now I have nothing.

  23. Animals and it goes on and on. Our government cares nothing about the men and women in unir. It used them abused them underpaid them and disposed of them with it keeping the contract it makes with them for the service they provide. The president and Congress wave flags and put flags on graves on memorial day but do nothing else

  24. The military teaches you to ignore physical signs and symptoms and to override the warnings they give you. Run when you can't run anymore, fight when you are hurt, get up when you are tired, be stoic when you are sad, be calm when you are terrified, etc, etc, etc. A big part of stress management and PTSD recovery is reconnecting mind and body by letting your body tell you when things are going wrong. Body cues are essential to self care. The military mindset is antithetical to this and is based on a false premise that the body's responses are an enemy of correct action when they are actually allies. True resiliancy doesn't silence body cues. It works with them. The short term results of severing the mind-body connection are brittle and cause soldiers to engage beyond their stress threshold without even realizing it until it is too late.

  25. There is no help for the. Disabled veterans from the government. Our benefits are being taken away from us year by year. Even President trump who promised to help the veterans took away benefits that were guaranteed by contract after twenty years of service in this year's budget. The American people have no idea how poorly veterans are treated . The surviving families of 911 were giving millions of dollars the surviving families of veterans in Iraq are given nothing. Disabled veterans in Iraq have to rely on charity for medical supplies and special equipment to get around and for service

  26. I don’t even know where to start, but I don’t think it was an accident that one of your videos popped up in my recommended section, which brought me to your channel. I met my husband 13 years ago, next month, when he had finished his 4 years in the Marines. He’s a wonderful man. Has morals, loves me to death, is (or was) a very big people person and works his butt off. Always talking to anyone and making conversations with complete strangers. I’ll put it this way, I was the complete opposite, quiet and shy, but he made me come out of my shell. Everything has been wonderful, I thought, up until lately. He’s never been interested in going to the VA, not for medical or financial help. He’s a “ I’ll find a way to make this happen, will power/your brain is more powerful than you think, work my butt off” kinda guy. Here in the past couple years, it’s like he’s almost completely changed. He’s talked to me about some things he’s been through in the Marines, not all, I know that, but some. He lost quite a few friends and that’s where I think he’s having problems….ptsd and survivor’s guilt. I’m no psychologist/therapist, but we’ve recently started going to see one…..actually, it came to the point of me MAKING him make the call to talk to someone. He was scaring the hell out of me. Most of the time it’s like he isn’t the same person I married, the same easy-going, funny, man I know. He thinks crap of himself, of me, hell, the whole world for that matter. Thinks myself and our kids would be better off without him, the him that’s “going crazy”. Of course, the therapist we’re going to is privately owned not connected with the VA at all, but is a vet himself and sees other vets in his office. He met the guy by installing flooring in his home and trusted him from the get go. But when we go in, my husband doesn’t let on to feeling as bad as he does. We’ve been 3 or 4 times now, and I know there isn’t gonna be some miraculous moment that my husband snaps back into the guy he used to be, but if he doesn’t let our therapist know how he’s really feeling, he’s not going to be able to help with what he really needs help with. I don’t know, what I’m trying to say exactly. Guess I’m just agreeing that, yes, medical/emotional care for our armed forces, active and vets, men and women, needs a major overall improvement. I don’t get it. These people put their lives on the line for us and at the very least, should have THE BEST medical/mental healthcare provided for FREE.

  27. Thanks Kati, I have been fighting the VA fight for treatment for 20 years. So thanks for speaking out.

  28. So happy to see this video, and I'm honored to have been of service in answering some of your questions.

  29. I have several close family members who are veterans. One of them told their dr at the VA about their mental health issued post-deployment and it ruined their career. Then they told the Dr they were feeling suicidal and the best the VA could do for them was a bi-monthly therapy session with an LCPC who was riding out his last year to retirement.
    It makes me sad to know this is how veterans get treated after all they go through serving our country.

  30. If i dont hear Happy Thursday of Happy Tuesday, in the old the old videos, i really feel there is something missing, You look so much as my current therapist and act like her, its really comforting.I live in the Netherlands and i am so happy that everything falls in insurance and dont pay a dime and have specialized care. i would be screwed if i lived in a country you'd pay for therapy. Your videos are very helpfull for me!

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