New research and experts say the psychological toll from the war in Iraq is climbing because of the severe stress of fighting a deadly insurgency.
The Pentagon says mental health care is expanding, but critics counter that military suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder cases have exposed gaps in how treatment is delivered to soldiers.
The Army's director of mental health policy, Colonel Tom Burke says the military has gotten much better at providing care and treatment. But the stigma that psychological treatment carries is harder to address.
Burke says the military is teaching soldiers and commanders how to seek mental health help and to let them know there is no punishment for coming forward.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July, Army researchers say an anonymous survey of more than 62-hundred Army soldiers and Marines found about one in eight who fought in Iraq had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The survey also showed that less than half of those with problems sought help, mostly out of fear of being stigmatized or hurting their careers.
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