Tags: us army | waivers | mental illness

Army Opens Door to Some With Mental Health Issues

Army Opens Door to Some With Mental Health Issues

By    |   Monday, 13 November 2017 11:36 AM

The Army has opened up recruitment to those with some mental health conditions, according to documents obtained by USA Today.

The decision to allow waivers comes as the Army is facing a challenge to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through Sept. 2018, according to USA Today.

The Army now has access to more medical history about a recruit, said Army spokesman. Lt. Col. Randy Taylor. The Army had issued a ban on waivers after an epidemic of suicide among troops, USA Today reported.

The conditions that would allow those who suffer from them to seek waivers are self-mutilation, bipolar disorder, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. Those problems are likely to reoccur among people with a history of those issues, said Elspeth Ritchie, retired Army psychiatrist, in USA Today.

Bipolar disorder can be controlled with medication, but self-mutilation could point to more extensive mental health concerns, and could disrupt the military unit, Ritchie said in the USA Today report.

“For all waivers, the burden of proof is on the applicant to provide a clear and meritorious case for why a waiver should be considered,” a memo states, according to USA Today.

Last year, to meet the goal of adding 69,000 soldiers, the Army accepted recruits who had gotten low scores on aptitude tests, and increased waivers that were granted for marijuana use. They also offered millions in bonuses, according to an October USA Today report.

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The Army has opened up recruitment to those with some mental health conditions. The decision to allow waivers comes as the Army is facing a challenge to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through Sept. 2018, according to USA Today.
us army, waivers, mental illness
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2017-36-13
Monday, 13 November 2017 11:36 AM
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