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Mil Med. 1999 Jun;164(6):401-6.

Psychiatric illness and the workplace: perspectives for occupational medicine in the military.

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Mental Health Services, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, WY, USA.


In inpatient psychiatric wards and outpatient mental health clinics throughout the military, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are often faced with patients suffering from emotional distress attributed to occupational stress. There has been scant research into how the routine military work environment affects the mental health status of military employees. This paper provides a review of the occupational medicine literature on the relationship between the work environment and employee mental health. There is a growing recognition that stress resulting from the workplace can provoke psychiatric illness, but the research is limited at this time. The data existing on the work force in general are examined, and the relationship of these findings to the military work environment is discussed. This review suggests that a comprehensive examination of the relationship between the military work environment and the mental health of military employees is needed. By gathering these data, interventions can be planned to mitigate the effect of stress caused by the military work environment on the mental health of its members.

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