Mental health a concern for US State Department

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Officials say the State Department plans to create a new mental health care office and require employees to take additional time off. It's an effort to deal with a surge in stress disorders among diplomats in danger posts abroad - particularly Iraq and Afghanistan.

The officials say the steps were proposed in response to a survey that found up to 17 percent of diplomats serving at such posts may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or similar problems.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the figures will be sent to all U.S. diplomatic missions as early as today.

McCormack says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is personally involved in efforts to improve the department's ability to assist diplomats.

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