A Duty To Serve, A Duty To Provide: A Comparative Analysis Of Mental Health Delivery In The Armed Forces Of Canada, U.K. and U.S.
The issue of mental trauma suffered during combat is one that has plagued militaries for as long as wars have been waged. Caring for those who have served their nations should be a top priority for the health sector of any standing army. However, the issues plaguing service personnel, specifically those within armed forces, are a difficult problem for policymakers and military superiors alike. The objective of this study is to analyze mental healthcare administrations in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. within the context of three independent variables: training initiatives, discharge policies and compensation and the role of veterans’ organizations in care delivery and advocacy. Through the lens of institutional theory, this thesis will argue that some countries employ more effective tactics than others at mitigating their mental health burden. It will demonstrate that the degree to which institutions are centralized is directly related to the effectiveness with which mental health is addressed. Mental health administration in armed forces is a topic rarely, if at all, analyzed in political science and policy literature. Policymakers have a multitude of medical studies at their disposal, but few studies that suggest manners in which governance and administration can be altered to improve services. This thesis will fill that gap and provide a foundation for future research in the politics of mental healthcare in armed forces.