Author(s): Ashley W, Brown JC
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Abstract Many veterans do not seek assistance for mental health concerns despite the staggering prevalence of trauma-related symptomatology. Barriers to service provision include personal and professional stigma and inter-veteran attitudes that dictate who is more or less deserving of services. Veteran attitudes are shaped by military culture, which promotes a hyper-masculine paradigm upholding combat experience as the defining feature of the "ideal soldier." The stratification of soldiers into combat or non-combat status creates a hierarchy of combat elitism that extends far beyond active duty. This pilot study surveyed veterans (n = 24) to explore how combat experience may affect attitudes toward help seeking. Findings indicate combat and non-combat veterans are less accepting of non-combat veterans' help-seeking behavior, supporting the notion that veterans' attitudes toward help seeking are influenced by combat status. Despite limitations, the results of this study reflect a need for increased attention to the attitudes veterans have about each other and themselves.
This article was published in J Evid Inf Soc Work
and referenced in Journal of General Practice