More effort needed for servicemen suffering mental challenges

Programs to help U.S. servicemen and women suffering from mental challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder, have been around for decades. Clearly, more effort needs to be put into them.

After Army Spc. Ivan Lopez shot and killed three people and wounded 16 others before killing himself at Fort Hood, Texas, last week, the media focused again on mental illness in the military. Lopez was being treated for mental illness.

But most service members coping with psychological challenges are no threat to others. Instead, some take their own lives. We owe it to them to find better ways of surviving confrontations with their mental demons.

Nearly one in every five men and women who enlist in the military suffers from common mental illnesses such as depression before they sign up. The stress of service can aggravate those challenges.

More needs to be done to help servicemen and women who become threats to themselves and others. The Pentagon should make that a top priority.

Perhaps Kathleen Sebelius was just tired of the pressure of being secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But as some are suggesting, her resignation may be an attempt by President Barack Obama to put a new “face” on Obamacare.

Clearly, the new HHS secretary, West Virginia native Sylvia Burwell, cannot be blamed for miscues in administering Obamacare, such as the persistent problems with the website.

But Americans are not stupid. They are coming to understand that the law itself, not just how it is managed, is flawed deeply. All the new faces in the world at Obamacare press conferences will not change that.