Issue 9 | August 2014

Even among a relatively healthy and young population, sexual functioning problems, including erectile dysfunction, are higher among military service members than civilians, according to a new study conducted by the USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families. Thirty-three percent of surveyed male military service members under 40 reported erectile dysfunction, a rate more than three times that of similarly aged civilians. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were 30 times more likely to report erectile dysfunction and six times more likely to report such sexual functioning problems as low sex drive, arousal and ability to reach orgasm. The entire research project will eventually include a toolkit for clinicians with video vignettes and resources. Read more



More than 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year, or nearly 22 a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This rate, which has increased significantly in the past 10 years, has eluded explanation, though many point to a correlation between combat experience and mental health issues. CIR researchers believe they can now identify when veterans may be more prone to suicide, a first step in more effective prevention efforts. Read more


For USC School of Social Work students interested in working one-on-one with veterans and military families, a trip to the nation's capital provided a meaningful lesson in understanding how policies are made and their influence on everything from the accessibility of timely mental health services to the successful reintegration of soldiers to society. Read more

There exists a critical time post-combat when unit leaders are in a position to have tremendous impact on how combat soldiers relate to one another and their community. By their actions, leaders at this level have the potential to immediately mitigate some of the adverse effects of combat, even before service members transition back into their civilian communities. Read more

For years there has been a tremendous gap in understanding the mental health effects of deployment and the efforts by military forces at trying to minimize or mitigate them. Many military forces have recently systematized the mental support that is provided to support operational deployments. In a review co-authored by CIR's Carl Castro, the practices of five NATO countries were compared to describe common bottlenecks and illustrate new developments. Read more


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