Through Tara’s story and other service members and their families stories, we can learn that everyone must balance the demands of the system with the art of caring for oneself. Hyper focused on the failed systems, Tara would soon learn that she was disregarding the fact that her own system was overwhelmed and overstimulated. She nearly became a casualty herself. She would transition from the role of the mental health provider to the patient in a way she never saw coming. As a trained psychotherapist and seasoned Army Officer, she was motivated more than ever to expose the harsh realities plaguing our military today with respect to failed policies, toxic command climates, and a grossly negligent and a failing military mental health system. She was motivated to bring about necessary and everlasting change to our Armed Forces-even if it meant losing her career. She takes a very clinical approach through self-disclosure and through the stories and disclosures of other service members and their family members to capture the scope and magnitude of the problem. She elevates solutions to the senior brass and policy makers within Tracer Patient. Her determination is second to none and her motivations are only well-intentioned.
She speaks hard truths to power and refuses to quit until suicide rates decrease and until we fix an epically broken mental health system. She addresses the problem and provides impactful solutions as well as exposes those that have attempted at every turn to sweep the problem under the rug and pretend that it doesn’t exist.
The book serves as the mirror to improve insights among the most senior leaders in the institution so that we can then begin our clean-up efforts as an organization.
Tracer Patient aims to bring insight, then spark action and to motivate the reader, so that everyone, regardless of what system you may find yourself, to stand up to these things that are happening and to do your part to bring about systemic changes affecting us all.
Enjoy Tracer Patient!