Pre-Deployment Stress, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Marines
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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U.S. military forces have been engaged in extended conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. During that time, service members have faced extended deployments and exposure to combat or other stressful situations. While most military personnel cope well with these stressors, many experience difficulties handling stress at some point, and some experience mental health problems as a consequence. The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD among returning U.S. service members is estimated at 5-20 percent, with variations in this estimate due to differences in how the population is defined and which measures are used Ramchand et al., 2011. The literature suggests that certain populations of service members may be at higher risk for deployment-related mental health problems, including those with greater combat exposure. Numerous programs have been developed to assist service members with deployment-related stress and mental health problems a recent RAND report estimated that the U.S. Department of Defense DoD alone funds over 200 such programs. This report presents findings from a pre-deployment survey of 2,620 marines scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq. We developed the survey primarily as a means of gathering baseline information to support our evaluation of the OSCAR program. However, it also provides unique information about marines mental health prior to deployment, as well as their attitudes toward stress and seeking help for mental health issues.
- Military Forces and Organizations