Army will consider recruits with some mental health issues

Recruits with history of depression bipolar disorder can get waivers to join Army report

A military policy organization has decried the U.S. Army's decision to make it easier to issue recruit waivers for self-mutilation and other serious mental health issues.

Under the new policy, which had previously gone unannounced, recruits with a history of self-mutilation who seek mental health waivers must provide the Army with medical records, documents from a psychiatric evaluation, and photos of their of their injuries "in order to provide a clear and meritorious case for why a waiver should be considered". "These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories".

Army officials did not respond to USA Today's inquiry as to how many waivers - if any - have been issued since the change in policy.

USA Today first reported the new policy a few days ago, which has been enacted as the armed forces try to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018.

"Recent reports that the Army has changed medical entrance standards for those with mental health issues are inaccurate", Seamands said in the statement.

"We're not prepared to close the door on such individuals who are otherwise medically, mentally and physically qualified for military service", he said. The ban on waivers was originally imposed in 2009 after a wave of troop suicides.

"There's so many gradations of mental illness", Edwards said.

From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of Category Four recruits - referring to those who scored in the lowest category on aptitude tests - jumped from 0.6 percent to 1.9 percent. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, told USA Today.

My 2 cents: Do we want people to get help for mental health or keep it in the shadows in stigma (and therefore untreated) because they know they will be precluded from doing those things that they want to do such as join the Army?

"It is a red flag", she said.

Simpson told The Daily Caller News Foundation that many mental health problems that are barely noticed in civilian life fully erupt in active service because of the stresses of the job.

USA Today noted that to meet last year's goal of recruiting 69,000 new soldiers, the Army increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses. "Why take people in the Army who are already vulnerable to conditions we know people who are perfectly healthy are susceptible to in combat situations?"

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