The Army announced today the results of its Task Force Behavioral Health’s seven month-long review of the Army’s approach to behavioral health diagnoses and evaluations in support of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).
The Task Force Behavioral Health report represents one of the most comprehensive efforts to date to improve behavioral health care across the United States Army.
The task force focused on behavioral health issues across the total force — Active, National Guard and Reserve — reviewing more than 140,000 records and gathering information at more than 46 care delivery sites through one-on-one interviews and sensing sessions. It also reviewed the Army’s implementation, execution and oversight of IDES.
The report produced findings and recommendations designed to not only improve systems and organizations, but to also better train, educate and support leaders, soldiers and clinicians. Army leadership reviewed and analyzed those findings, and Secretary of the Army John McHugh directed implementation of key measures to make lasting change both to Army IDES and behavioral health programs.
Among the most significant findings are those that will help the Army improve IDES.
The task force found a need to better synchronize, track and oversee IDES actions across multiple agencies by designating an Army “lead agent.” Also, the Army will assign behavioral health experts at the command and installation levels to provide better consultation, guidance, coordination and recommendations to improve behavioral health care. Further, the Army will provide soldiers and families additional education and assistance to connect with supportive services as they undergo the IDES process and transition from the Army.
McHugh’s corrective action plan and directive of March 4, will implement both short-term solutions, and longer-term, systemic changes that will make care and treatment of soldiers and family members more effective.