Morale has fallen sharply among U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, with repeated combat deployments taking a toll on their psychological health and marriages, according to an Army mental health survey released Friday.
The percentage of soldiers who rated their unit's morale as high or very high fell from 10.2 percent in 2007 to 5.7 percent in 2009, according to the survey. Individual morale rates remained steady, with about 16 percent saying their morale was high or very high.
Meanwhile, soldiers in Afghanistan are having greater difficulty getting help for psychological problems, for a variety of reasons, including a shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health workers, the survey showed.
The Army had about 43 behavioral health personnel in Afghanistan when the survey was conducted from April to June, or about one for every 1,100 soldiers. The Army is working to improve that ratio to one for every 700 soldiers, and to assign more mental health providers to brigades and battalions.