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Active Duty Mental Health Jacket



I posted this on another post and I have been to Hell and back to try to find my Mental Health Jacket and here it is....

I got my medical records or my SMR's, I can't get my hands on my Mental Health Jacket I have written everyone and its the icing on the cake. I got the VA pretty good but this is the clincher. The VARO stated in my denial that I had no record of any treatment in service and I know for a fact this is BULL. How in the world can the VARO make an assessment like that and at least send me an empty folder or and eval from when I entered service. I can't get my hands on any mental health records from Active Duty.......thanks 4 your help.. Rich

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Yoggie - normally the mental health record is held sep from the SMR's you are going to have to contact the MHC/facility where your received your treatment.

And what if you need records of this kind, that is to say, nursing notes, actual exam or test results, EEG tracings, etc. that are mentioned in Medical Board Summery Report, that are more than thirty years old and from what I can find out, the Hospital has been moved and built anew?

Rockhound Rider :huh:

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I was treated while on active duty at Ft. Eustis VA and in the Gulf for server depression and anxiety.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


That is the same bull that I listened to from the VA for 40 years.

Each filing some counselor would lie and say no " Psychiatric Records"


Not true. I took out a pen and paper and sit down and wrote the ST.

Louis Archives and explained in detail what I needed.

One of the technicians called me and there they were.

They were stored and are stored in a separate area from your

SMR's at the Archives.

I lucked out and proved the VA wrong. I am like you, I had enough

sense to know what I had been treated for and when.

Each filing, the VA stated no treatment in service within the SMR's.

I feel that the VA knew they would not be together.

I got my hands on them and re-opened all of my earlier claims.

They low balled me beginning at 10% for 1992, but at least they

had to pay me back 16 years.

Write them a hand written letter.


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i was very sneaky when it came to my medical and mental health records (and medical records for my dependent sons). shortly before being medically discharged (ie kicked out)....i went and signed out my medical & mental health records saying i had appts at civilian facilities....and wouldn't you know....somehow i just forgot to turn them back in.

no one ever asked for them.!!!!!!

for my 2 sons...same thing, just a few days before out-processing i checked out their records saying they had appts with a civilian provider and amazingly their records never made it back either. again, no one asked for them!!!

so i had all of my original medical and mental health records from the start...i think this helped my claim with it's speedy processing as well, the VA couldn't dispute anything i said!

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I know you may be called an "EVIL DOER" by some but knowing what I know now I wish I'd did the same...I don't condone it but good for you.. LOl, Rich

Edited by yoggie2 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I am not sure I would take records out of the system and keep them out of the system if I thought I might want to file a claim at a later date. Making copies would be a better option. The VA could turn it into a chain of custody issue. If the VA were not able to verify the existence of the original file they might not be required to accept the files you give them as evidence unless they are verifiable by other means.

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Taking medical files out of the system leaves you as the sole responsible party to see that they are kept safe. If a Dr. quits, retires or otherwise leaves medical practice or the records will be in danger of being purged from the system, then and only then would I recommend that such records be taken out of the system.

I moved so many times, where records were lost in the move, had fires that destroyed records, had records inadvertantly stolen along with other things of value, even had mother nature play a role in destroying valueable records. Only those records that remained in the system were able to be replaced. On the otherhand some were lost forever, due to Dr's leaving medical practive and or have died and the time in which these records were to be maintained had long since expired.

It's a toss up I guess, your damed if you do and your certainly damned if you don't.

Rockhound Rider :huh:

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In the old days ( retired over 20 years ago) it was common for the soldier to have his/her medical reords... when I retired I kept them and sent a copy of them to the va with my first claim. I kept control of my retiree medical records up until 2005, when fort Bragg would not let me take them with me when I relocated to a new state. (Like they will do anyone else any good).. Now I request a copy of my medical records on every trip that I make to the va or Willis Hall at Lackland AFB... Heck I have one file drawer full of nothing but medical records, and started on a second drawer....

I say if you can get the original get and keep them.... jmho

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I requested copies of my Mental Health records at the Mental Health Clinic where I was being seen when I was retiring. I had to fill out all a zillion forms and state why I wanted them etc. Then I had to wait for their docs to review the records before releasing them to me. They are not supposed to give you copies of anything that they believe might cause a negative mental reaction when You read it. So, I ended up getting about a third of the records they had. It's a good thing I did too because as far as I've been able to determine the VA didn't get any from the mental health clinic at all.

Someone suggested that you go to the clinic where you were seen to request copies. If the hospital has been rebuilt or moved, they had to have moved the records also. I'd contact the new mental health clinic there and get their help locating the records. Administrative people at mental health have always seemed very helpful to me. If they can't help you, try their Patient Advocate Office.

Hope you find them soon.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


My concern was that the people who gave you the original copies kept records of the fact that the records were taken by the patient and never returned. Then the VA requests the records and when the original treatment facility responds to the VA rather than say the doctor moved, the records were destroyed in a fire etc. they notify the VA that the patient never returned the original copies to the clinic. The VA has policy when the records are lost by the record keepers. I wonder how the VA would respond if they were told that the patient kept the records. They might have the right to question the reliability of the records taken out of the system by the patient. That is why I suggested making copies.

Edited by Hoppy (see edit history)
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