RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
The U.S. Department of Defense offers non-medical counseling through two programs Military and Family Life Counseling MFLC and Military OneSource. These programs, established in 2004, are centrally managed in the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy ODASD MC and FP. To date, assessment of non-medical counseling programs has primarily focused on process and satisfaction measures rather than program outcomes. Because of the lack of information on program outcomes, ODASDMC and FP asked RANDs National Defense Research Institute NDRI to evaluate MFLC and Military OneSource to better understand their impact on military members and their families. This study set out to answer the question of whether on-medical counseling programs are effective in improving program outcomes and if effectiveness varies by problem type andor population. This report provides detailed findings of RAND NDRIs analysis based on two surveys provided to program participants - the first two to three weeks after participating in counseling sessions and the second three months later. We designed the surveys to gain information on improvement in the problems for which the participant sought help whether negative impacts on their work and daily lives had subsided whether improvements were sustained in the short and long term i.e., over three months and participant perceptions about the program itself and the counselors with whom they worked. The report should be of interest to policymakers and program leadership. Policymakers can use study findings as they make decisions about continuation and expansion of nonmedical counseling provided through MFLC and Military OneSource. Program leadership can determine where the program is most effective and for whom, and can use the findings to pinpoint program areas in need of improvement or greater attention.