PTSD Isn’t Limited To Our Troops

PTSD Contractors

Mark Thompson summarizes a RAND study (pdf) on how PTSD and depression have afflicted military contractors:

“The proportion of contractors who met criteria for PTSD or screened positive for depression was notably higher than that among military populations,” the Rand study concludes. One in four contractors surveyed probably had PTSD, the report says, but that rate doubled — to a sky-high 50% — for those operating convoys, “most likely due to greater combat exposure,” including ambushes and roadside bombs. Eighteen percent screened positive for depression and half reported abusing alcohol. Rand researchers conducted an anonymous online survey of 660 workers, nearly two-thirds of them American, who deployed at least once between 2011 and 2013. It marks the first survey of such contractors. …

Contract personnel can be a bargain: unlike troops, they generally are not entitled to government-funded help for any mental ailments that may have been triggered, or aggravated, by their civilian service. “There is a significant unmet need for health care, with only 28% of those with probable PTSD and 34% of those with probable depression receiving mental health treatment in the 12 months prior to the survey,” the report says.