The Cost of Mental Health Care in the Military: $4.5 Billion Since 2007
Mental health care costs are on the rise in the military. The Pentagon spent nearly $1 billion on mental health treatment last year – roughly double the amount it spent in 2007. By Bob Brewin
The Congressional Research Service just put a price tag on the mental health costs of the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: about $4.5 billion between 2007 and 2012. The Defense Department spent $958 million on mental health treatment in 2012, roughly double the $468 million it spent in 2007.
Eighty-nine percent of spending on mental disorder treatment between 2007 and 2012 -- approximately $4 billion -- went for active duty service members. Over the same time frame, the military health system spent about $461 million on mental health care treatment for activated Guard and Reserve members.
Of the nearly $1 billion the military medical system spent in fiscal 2012 on mental disorder treatments for active duty and activated National Guard and reserve members, CRS said more than half of the costs, about $567 million, were for outpatient active duty mental health care.
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