Mental health in the military and the role of occupational therapy in improving quality of life and occupational performance
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Mental health in the military continues to be an epidemic and results in mental health issues, social isolation, deprivation, and alienation from roles and occupations. The social stigmas military personnel experience is linked to significant barriers to acquiring the necessary help for military personnel. The common concerns regarding seeking help for military personnel were being perceived as weak, being treated differently by unit leadership, personal perception of stigma, lack of education and members having less confidence in the individual (Gould, Greenberg, & Hetherton, 2007). The lack of preventative care for military personnel and barriers to seeking help, has resulted in decreased occupational performance and decreased quality of life for military personnel. Therefore, the implementation of preventative and early intervention techniques using occupational therapy approaches aims to address mental illness in the military and improve overall quality of life using effective intervention methods. This dissertation aims to identify gaps in practice, assess problem areas, and effectively demonstrates the role of occupational therapy in improving mental illness in the military.