Organization and Execution of Current Practices of Deployment-related Mental Health Support

Mental Health support (MHS) is an integral part of the whole chain of events within military
organizations. Several countries are delivering this support for troops that are active in the current
operation in Afghanistan (ISAF). Between 2009-2010 TNO Defense, Safety and Security, part of the
Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research (TNO), executed a project named Assessment of
Organization and Execution of Current Practices of Deployment-related MH Support (DRMHS). The
main goal of this project was to assess protocols and current practices of MHS during and after
operational deployment (i.e., prevention, intervention, and treatment). Because nowadays service members
are often deployed several times, MHS after deployment can be considered pre-deployment MHS.
Therefore, MHS before deployment was also assessed in this project. The countries Australia (AUS),
Canada (CAN), Great Brittain (GBR), the Netherlands (NLD) and the United States of America (USA)
participated in this project. Information was gathered and evaluated by document-analysis and by
interviewing key-players in the field of Military MHS of each nation. Both were undertaken by means of a
semi-structured interview protocol, especially developed for this project. The deliverables of this project
are a TNO report and scientific paper describing the current practises of DRMHS of the individual
countries aswell as a comparison of DRMHS between countries. The current paper focuses on the
comparison between countries. The comparison is non-competitive, and aims to identify opportunities for
innovative interventions and assessments. The results of the whole project can be used to develop new
policies and practices that strengthen the Military MH care the participating organizations currently
provide in order to sustain a good work environment, operational effectiveness and MH well-being of their
service members. Furthermore, the results can be used to develop an even more efficient collaboration
between countries in their mutual MH care efforts, whereby they will be better able to face the challenges
of current military missions.

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Boeschoten MA,Vermetten HG,McFarlane AC,Jetly R,Greenberg N,Castro CA,Delahaij R, | 2011
DTIC | 18