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.
A recent Military Medicine article highlights the association of improvised explosive device (IED) rates with risk of suicide among soldiers, both those currently deployed as well as those who are not deployed. This article highlights the potential of new weapons to increase stress burden among soldiers, as well as new targets for intervention and improving psychological resilience. For additional details, please review the abstract.
PubMed: click here
A recent Military Medicine article details the characteristics of U.S. military families who have lost a service member between 2001 and 2011. This article highlights the importance and unique needs of the bereaved military family and serves as an important resource for service providers. For additional details, please review the abstract.
Integrating Emergency Management and Disaster Behavioral Health is the first book to promote the integration of these two professions. The book describes not only the importance of integrating efforts and skills but why this is critical to optimally service disaster victims, survivors, and those who serve them. Each chapter has content from both professions and includes practical ways to implement the recommendations in the chapter.
We present the Winter 2017 edition of Research Review, a digest of brief, easy-to-read summaries of important research in family violence. Research Review will be useful to providers in family advocacy, primary care, mental health, and social services as well as program directors and policy makers. We encourage you to share the digest with individuals and organizations that may benefit from this information.
CSTS assembled a group of national scholars on January 11 at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence for "Family Safety and Military Servicemembers: Understanding Risk and Intervention Strategies" as part of the Forum on Health and National Security series. Guest speakers from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Carnegie Mellon, and the Naval Postgraduate School presented to an audience of civilian and military experts on topics related to family safety with a goal of better understanding risk perception and decision making around health behaviors such as safe storage of personal firearms. The forum was chaired by CAPT Curt West, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and included Dr. Arthur Kellerman, Dean of the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at USUHS.
This article, authored by CSTS Scientist Dr. Joshua Morganstein, reviews six mobile applications that can assist healthcare providers and consumers in the delivery and utilization of mental health care. For additional details, review the abstract here.
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress is pleased to announce the first annual CSTS Pre-doctoral fellowship award. This award is in support of a USUHS graduate student for innovative basic or clinical research studies leading to a PhD degree while addressing the primary mission of the CSTS, namely, to research the health consequences of trauma, disaster, and terrorism. This award provides two years of salary support while the pre-doctoral student works on their doctoral studies. The 2016 CSTS Pre-doctoral Fellowship Award recipient is Francis T. Djankpa for his project “The KCC2 influence on neuronal migration in a ferret model of cortical dysplasia.”
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Psychosocial support for pregnant women and for families with microcephaly and other neurological complications in the context of Zika virus: Interim guidance for health-care providers
The World Health Organization has announced that microcephaly associated with Zika virus infection represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. A causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven. Several countries have also reported an increase in the incidence of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome concurrent with Zika virus outbrek. This document describes guidance for a supportive response by healthcare providers (e.g. physicians, nurses), focusing primarily on women affected by Zika virus infection during pregnancy and their families, for their mental health and psychosocial needs.
Disasters and public health emergencies, such as epidemics, can lead to significant community-wide disruptions. Appreciation of the psychiatric consequences of disasters and public health emergencies has increased significantly in the past decade. Dr. Anthony T. Ng's article in Psychiatric Times, "Disaster Psychiatry: What Psychiatrists Need to Know", provides a useful overview of relevant issues.
The Uniformed Services University and Veteran's Administration have partnered to open the national PTSD Brain Bank, where researchers will investigate the impact of stress, trauma and PTSD on brain tissue. This work is being conducted in order to advance the scientific knowledge of PTSD, particularly the identification of PTSD biomarkers. Recent media coverage of the Brain Bank, it's relevance and potential impacts can be found here.
In July 2015, SAMHSA, NCTSN and Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) partnered together to produce a special pre-conference event in conjunction with MCEC's National Training Seminar in Washington DC. Experts and leadership provided interviews, panel discussions and TED-like talks on issues pertaining to care and support to military connected families and children. In the attached video, CSTS Senior Scientist, Dr. Stephen Cozza provides a framework for interventions to serve the mental health needs of military children. Please click here for more resources from this event.
The United States Global Change Research Program released "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment" to the President. Center Director, Dr. Robert Ursano and Center Scientist, Dr. Joshua Morganstein, served as authors for the chapter on "Mental Health and Well-Being", which outlines the state of current science on the impacts of climate change on mental health.
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