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Director’s Message

Our Center advances trauma-informed care through cutting edge research, education and training, and resources that draw upon our expertise in military and disaster psychiatry. . . . [more]

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Army STARRS: Volume 3, Issue 1, Updated Jan 28, 2019

This document is an ongoing continuous summary of Army STARRS and STARRS-LS publications. Army STARRS (2009-2015) was the largest and most comprehensive research project of mental health among U.S. Army Soldiers ever conducted. The project was designed to examine a broad range of risk and resilience (protective) factors across a complex set of outcomes including suicidal behaviors and associated mental health issues. Army STARRS scientists created a series of large and extensive databases with the potential to achieve groundbreaking results. These databases allow scientists to investigate a diverse combination of factors from demographic, psychological, biological, neurological, behavioral, and social domains with the goal of generating actionable findings for the Army. The project was designed using an adaptive approach which means it evolved as new information became available over the course of the project. The research team shared preliminary findings, as they became available, with senior Army leadership so the Army could apply them to its ongoing health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention efforts. The work is continuing under the STARRS Longitudinal Study (STARRS-LS) which runs from 2015 to 2020.

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Leveraging Technology in Military Mental Health

Dr. Ursano, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Morganstein are presenting at the NATO Human Factors and Medicine Meeting. The meeting explores Leveraging Technology in Military Mental Health covering Big Data and Machine Learning.

Leveraging technology represents the greatest opportunity for advancing military mental health in over a century. Across the NATO alliance all partners are contending with a significant mental health burden particularly in military relevant areas e.g. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), suicide. Leveraging technology will be part of a concentrated effort to mitigate its impact. Oncology, cardiology, radiology and surgery have made incredible advances over the past two to three decades aided in large part by leveraging technology. Mental health is lagging behind in the application of these advances. Big data, biomarkers, neuro-imaging, mobile and online interventions, simulation and serious gaming will augment or replace conventional approaches across the key domains of military mental health (i.e. research, education/training, diagnosis, treatment and prevention). Taking advantage of these technologies will contribute to greater force readiness and enhance treatment of the ill and injured.

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Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting Disaster Response and Recovery Resources

Acts of mass violence, such as the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California cause extreme disruption and can be distressful for individuals, families and communities. Those receiving assistance as well as those involved in disaster management efforts can be affected. Ongoing national media exposure creates a disaster "community" that extends far beyond the geographic region of the event. Individual and community strength can be enhanced by interventions that address critical behavioral health issues throughout response and recovery phases. Ideal interventions promote the evidence-based principles of Psychological First Aid (PFA), including: safety, calming, self- and community-efficacy, social connectedness, and a sense of hope/optimism.

Click HERE for resources that provide disaster mental health information to assist families, responders, community leaders, and healthcare providers in response and recovery efforts.

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Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Disaster Response and Recovery Resources

Acts of mass violence, such as the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, cause extreme disruption and can be distressful for individuals, families and communities. Those receiving assistance as well as those involved in disaster management efforts can be affected. Disasters involving the violation of places traditionally considered safe havens, such as places of worship, schools, healthcare settings and others, can be uniquely disturbing. Ongoing national media exposure creates a disaster "community" that extends far beyond the geographic region of the event. Individual and community strength can be enhanced by interventions that address critical behavioral health issues throughout response and recovery phases. Ideal interventions promote the evidence-based principles of Psychological First Aid (PFA), including: safety, calming, self- and community-efficacy, social connectedness, and a sense of hope/optimism.

Click HERE for resources that provide disaster mental health information to assist families, responders, community leaders, and healthcare providers in response and recovery efforts.

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Research Review: Volume 3, Issue 2 Fall 2018

Research Review is a Joining Forces Joining Families publication. This issue presents articles on how intimate partner violence (IPV) can affect a victim in the workplace, animal abuse and its association with IPV, how providers can inquire about the welfare of a pet, parental burnout and its association with child maltreatment, challenges of working with batterers, and controlling behavior as IPV and child maltreatment. Other summaries of articles on child maltreatment include the misattribution of infants’ personalities by parents and caretakers and its relation to the risk of child maltreatment, and the risk of violence to child protection workers.

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