Overview and purpose
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Overview and Purpose. Define key concepts Stress Coping (being “ Ready ”) Stress “ Reaction ” vs. stress “ Injury ” Stress “ Illness ” Understand Continuum Model, and identify common sources of operational stress

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Overview and Purpose

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Overview and purpose

Overview and Purpose

Define key concepts


Coping (being “Ready”)

Stress “Reaction” vs. stress “Injury”

Stress “Illness”

Understand Continuum Model, and identify common sources of operational stress

Describe ways to recognize and take care of stress reactions, stress injuries, and stress illnesses in you and your fellow Marines

Describe stress coping/managing tactics and timelines

Identify resources for getting help for stress injuries and illnesses

What are stress and coping

What Are “Stress” and “Coping”?

Any challenge to the body or mind

Always both a danger and an opportunity

Necessary for life and accomplishment


  • Changes in our bodies, minds, or environments to adapt to stress

    • Three main ways (tactics) to cope

      • Strengthen yourself

      • Manage your environment (including relationships)

      • Compartmentalize stress when necessary

    • Coping is how we manage stress

    • But coping takes time — to do and undo


Operational stress continuum

Individual, Peer, Family Responsibility

Operational Stress Continuum

  • Wellness

  • Well trained

  • Prepared

  • In Control

  • Optimally effective

  • Behaving ethically

  • Having fun

  • Distress or impairment

  • Mild, transient

  • Anxious or irritable

  • Behaviorchange

  • Not having fun

  • More severe or persistent distress or impairment

  • Leaves lasting evidence (personality change)

  • Stress injuries that don’t heal without intervention

  • Diagnosable

  • PTSD

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Addictive Disorder

Care Giver Responsibility

Leader Responsibility

Sources of operational stress

Sources of Operational Stress

How do we manage stress

How Do We Manage Stress?

● Physically– Strength Training – Endurance – Physical skills – Rest and recovery● Mentally– Familiarity– Confidence– Stress “inoculation”– Positive attitude● Spiritually– Worship – Prayer – Fellowship

● Thinking– Tune out dangers – Tune out horrors – Don’t dwell on negative – Avoid self blame● Feeling– Numb to fear– Numb to sorrow – Numb to suffering

● Social environment– Trust and support – Unit cohesion – Family cohesion – Eliminate stress● Physical environment– Protective equipment– Squared away – Stress coping tools– Recreation– Reduce stressors

What is a stress reaction

What is a “Stress Reaction”?

Temporary, mild mental or

physical distress, or impairment

of function, due to stress




Normal and expectable


Time course of normal coping and adaptation

Time Course of Normal Coping and Adaptation


of Challenge


of Challenge

Anticipation or Alarm at Onset of Challenge

Rebound After Challenge Ends


Time 

Level of Distress

“Normal Routine”


Recognizing stress problems green ready yellow reacting

Recognizing Stress Problems:Green (Ready)Yellow (Reacting)

Discussion questions

Discussion Questions

How can you recognize and take care of stress reactions?

In yourself?

In a buddy?

How can you recognize and take care of burn-out?

In yourself?

In a buddy?

Managing stress reactions

Managing Stress Reactions

  • Get more sleep and rest

  • Work out regularly

  • Spend time with people you trust

  • Attend to your spiritual needs

  • Resolve sources of stress and worry

  • Take your mind off of worries you can’t fix

  • Have fun when you can

  • Encourage yourself and others

What are stress injuries and stress illnesses

What Are “Stress Injuries” and “Stress Illnesses”?

Wounds to the mind or brain caused

by intense or prolonged stress




Moral injury ……


  • Disorders that may arise if stress

  • injuries don’t heal

    • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    • Depression

    • Anxiety

    • Substance abuse or dependence


Overview and purpose

Orange Zone:Stress Injuries

  • Stress Reactions

    • Adaptive or maladaptive coping responses

    • Unconscious choices

    • “Normal reactions to abnormal events”

  • Stress Injuries

    • Symptoms of damage to mind and brain

    • Not chosen

    • Cannot be undone (though usually heal)

Adaptation disrupted by traumatic stress injury

Adaptation Disrupted by Traumatic Stress Injury

Stress Injury


Traumatic event

Stress Level

Time 

Time 

Four sources of stress injury

Four Sources of Stress Injury

Intense or Prolonged

Operational Stress







  • A grief injury

  • Due to loss of people who are cared about

  • A trauma injury

  • Due to events provoking terror, helplessness, horror, shock

  • A beliefs injury

  • Due to conflict between moral/ethical beliefs and current experiences

  • A fatigue injury

  • Due to the accumulation of stress over time

Recognizing stress problems orange injured red ill

Recognizing Stress Problems:Orange (Injured) & Red (Ill)

Overview and purpose

Leader Check

Self Check

Care-giver Check

Buddy Check

Operational Stress First Aid (OSFA)


(Leader and Care-giver Aid)


(Self and Buddy Aid)



  • Get to safety

  • Keep safe


  • Slow heart rate

  • Reduce arousal


  • Social support

  • Tell story


  • Self-efficacy

  • Mentorship



Acute Stress Injury

COSFA developed by Litz, Watson, and Nash, from Psychological First Aid (PFA), originally developed by NCPTSD, NCTSN, and USUHS

Where to get help

Where To Get Help


Unit medical

Medical Treatment Facilities (Hospitals and Clinics)

Work Life Counselors

Employee Assistance Program

Vet Centers (www.va.gov/rcs)


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