By Tim Campellone
October 26, 2016
"Dennis," a composite character whose experiences resemble those of actual veterans, is a 27-year old computer programmer who left the Army two years ago and who has been feeling blue off and on since returning from a deployment to Afghanistan."He doesn't sleep great, has trouble getting motivated for work, and has given up many of his favorite hobbies as he no longer gets any joy from doing them. He's pretty sure that he is depressed, but he has yet to seek treatment for several reasons.
First, Dennis lives in a rural part of his home state, where the local medical clinic is has no mental health specialists on staff. Second, like many people with problems of this sort, he doesn't feel right asking for help from a therapist and he certainly wouldn't want anyone else to know he was going to see a "shrink." Finally, his depression, decreased energy and social isolation make it physically difficult for him to make it to the nearest mental health provider. How do mental treatment providers overcome these different barriers to make sure that Dennis is receiving the care that he needs?