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Veterans who seek help for post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression, or other mental health conditions can be stymied by the VA’s bureaucracy or short-staffed clinics and hospitals. (Photo: Shutterstock)

About half of U.S. veterans who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t get the mental health care they need, according to a new report that recommends changes to improve the care delivered by the Veterans Affairs health system.

While many veterans receive good mental health care through the VA, it’s inconsistent across the system, according to the report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—nonprofit institutions that inform public policy. The detailed 439-page assessment of the VA’s mental health services was ordered by Congress in 2013 and completed by a committee of 18 academics.

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