“Somebody who’s suffering with an acute mental health crisis … should not ordinarily result in a mental health discharge,” Kral said. “What should happen is that they receive the care and treatment that they need to be ready to rehab their mental health and then go back to being a member of the fleet. Unfortunately, that’s not always what we see.”
Arneson said in statement provided to NPR that the Navy recognizes that sailors are subjected to an array of stressful situations over the course of their service and that the mental health of every member is an important part to mission success.
But Kral said that sailors, Marines, soldiers and other members of the armed forces often don’t have access to the help they need.
“Regardless of what upper-level leadership says about trying to erase the stigma of mental health in our services, that does not play out when you get to the boots on the ground or the deck-plate level of actual experiences of junior service members,” Kral said.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member