Evaluation of a Pilot Social Work Outreach Program using Combat and Operational Stress Control Principles in Garrison, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, June - September 2009
Final rept. 1 Jun-30 Sep 2009
ARMY CENTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND PREVENTIVE MEDICINE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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The Outreach Program OP at Fort Sill, Oklahoma provides continual behavioral health BH education and counseling awareness services to Soldiers using the principles of Combat and Operational Stress Control COSC in garrison. OP requested a program evaluation from the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine USACHPPM to describe the programs activities, the process of implementation, the programs effect on Soldiers access to BH services, and the programs impact on Soldiers BH outcomes for those who access services. USACHPPM based the findings on data previously gathered by OP staff and on existing Army epidemiological databases. In addition, USACHPPM conducted interviews with key OP staff to capture the implementation process and lessons learned. Over the course of the program, OP activities have reached more than 17,000 Soldiers, Unit Leaders, and Family Readiness Group FRG members at Fort Sill. These groups report high satisfaction with program activities. Soldiers and Unit Leaders who attended OP activities cited differential treatment by leadership as the largest barrier to seeking BH care. Overall, perceptions of barriers to BH care were lower in this group than those reported in the published literature. During program implementation, hospitalizations at Reynolds Army Community Hospital RACH for ICD-9 mental health diagnoses stabilized while ambulatory visits increased. This may be associated with the programs ability to intervene early and encourage Soldiers use of BH services for routine issues before they become emergencies. The OP is a valued and well received BH program which has the capability to affect a positive impact on Soldiers BH. The results of this evaluation support the continuation and expansion of the program at Fort Sill while also warranting further prospective investigation of social work outreach programs in garrison and their effect on Soldiers general wellbeing and mission readiness.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations