Abstract Title

How Untreated Mental Illnesses in the Military Affects the National Security of America

Author Information

Tessa HarveyFollow

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

individual

What campus are you from?

Daytona Beach

Authors' Class Standing

Tessa Harvey, Senior

Lead Presenter's Name

Tessa Harvey

Faculty Mentor Name

Daniel Cutrer

Abstract

This thesis will cover the connections between untreated mental health in the military and how it threatens national security. Understanding mental illnesses will help service members comprehend the importance of mental healthcare by illuminating what they are, their effects, their causes, and how many members suffer from them. By better understanding how mental illness affects military members, is it possible to see how combat deployments aid in their development. A hyper-masculine culture also causes military members to believe they cannot speak up about their mental health issues. It is also important to speak of the prevalence of military women’s mental health concerns and how their mental illness and suicide rates are much higher than those of civilian women. Treatment options, such as correctly prescribed medications in addition to therapy and an improved culture of military mental health, are discussed. The future implications of the military’s current view towards mental health has contributed to a rise in suicides and mental health diagnoses. Security concerns include the consequences of untreated mental illnesses in the military, the inability for many young Americans to join due to past mental illness records, and breaches such as leaked documents by Chelsea Manning. Solutions must be put into place in order to mitigate the effects of this national security risk, like implementing treatments of medications and therapy, as well as introducing mandatory and private biannual therapy sessions. Doing so will not only make the military a less toxic organization, but also allow national security to be improved.

Did this research project receive funding support from the Office of Undergraduate Research.

No

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How Untreated Mental Illnesses in the Military Affects the National Security of America

This thesis will cover the connections between untreated mental health in the military and how it threatens national security. Understanding mental illnesses will help service members comprehend the importance of mental healthcare by illuminating what they are, their effects, their causes, and how many members suffer from them. By better understanding how mental illness affects military members, is it possible to see how combat deployments aid in their development. A hyper-masculine culture also causes military members to believe they cannot speak up about their mental health issues. It is also important to speak of the prevalence of military women’s mental health concerns and how their mental illness and suicide rates are much higher than those of civilian women. Treatment options, such as correctly prescribed medications in addition to therapy and an improved culture of military mental health, are discussed. The future implications of the military’s current view towards mental health has contributed to a rise in suicides and mental health diagnoses. Security concerns include the consequences of untreated mental illnesses in the military, the inability for many young Americans to join due to past mental illness records, and breaches such as leaked documents by Chelsea Manning. Solutions must be put into place in order to mitigate the effects of this national security risk, like implementing treatments of medications and therapy, as well as introducing mandatory and private biannual therapy sessions. Doing so will not only make the military a less toxic organization, but also allow national security to be improved.