OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM Army on the Ground in OIF; Combat Stress Care Initiatives. COL Jim Stokes, MC. USA Combat/Operational Stress Control Program Officer, USAMEDCOM San Antonio, TX [email protected] 210-221-8235/DSN 471-. DISCLAIMER.
While data from the Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT) will be presented, the opinions expressed are those of COL Jim Stokes, and do not necessarily represent those of the MHAT, the Army Medical Department, the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT)
Overview of observations
Soldier Well-Being Survey findings
Methodology and survey sample
Unmet needs of Soldiers in OIF for COSC/BH support
Army Combat/Operational Stress Control (COSC) Where is Army COSC in OIF (operations/organization)?
Stats on rRturn to Duty of soldiers evaluate/treated
The Challenge of Accountability
Relevance to BH Care of Disaster Responders
Requested by CJTF7 and CFLCC Command.
Chartered by The Army Surgeon General.
(“The Mysterious Twelve”)
All 5 BH/COSC disciplines plus Chaplain, DCSPER’s Suicide Prevention Proponent (Inf.), Ist SGT and SFC (MH & CSC backgrounds), and 2 Researchers from WRAIR
In Kuwait/Iraq from late Aug to Oct ‘03
The MHAT was impressed (awed) with the professionalism, dedication and resilience under severe stress of the many Soldiers we saw and the few we talked with in the study. Most griped, but remarkable mission focus.
The COSC support system was working well under the strain. It worked mostly with the relatively small number of soldiers in severe distress (for many reasons) and kept most of those treated “forward” on duty.
Travel between CSC teams and units at remote camps was risky & time/resource expensive.
(One or More Times) (High/Very HighConcern)
Saw human dead67%? Redeployment date ?87%
Small arms fire 63%Long deployment71%
Attack/ambush61%Separated from family57%
Knew someone 59% No privacy or personal 55%
seriously injured space
Moderate =16 % Severe = 7 %
Anxiety Depression Traumatic Stress
7.3% 6.9% 15.2%
Perceived Practical Barriers PositiveNegative
Difficulty getting time off work 43% 16%
Difficulty getting to BH location 26% 10%
Don’t know where to get help 24% 11%
BH services not available 24% 10%
Difficult to get an appointment 19% 8%
Perceived Barriers answered YES .
Might be seen as weak 59%
Unit leaders might treat them differently 58%
Unit would have less confidence in them 49%
Their leaders would blame them for the problem 48%
SOME TEAMS did MAGNIFICENT OUTREACH!
All disciplines do all functions within each individual’s scope of practice.
Includes Unit Needs Assessment
Also BH Treatment which keeps SM on duty
MHAT found clearer guidance is needed.