Mental Health and Help-Seeking in the U.S. Military: Survey and Focus Group Findings   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Abstract: "Despite policies that aim to reduce stigma and access to mental health care within the military, almost half of Service members who may be in need do not seek mental health support. The current study builds on past research on barriers to seeking help for mental health concerns, particularly for suicidal ideation or suicide attempt, by examining factors that promote or prevent help-seeking from the perspective of Service members and suicide prevention gatekeepers. Data from the '2016 Status of Forces Survey of Active Duty Members' were analyzed to estimate the prevalence of non-help-seeking, and individual, occupational, and barrier factors associated with non-help-seeking. Focus group interviews with military suicide prevention gatekeepers provided context and further insight into the findings from the survey. In addition, gatekeepers discussed strategies for promoting help-seeking for mental health concerns. Findings from this study indicate that non-help-seeking Service members tend to be male, officers, less knowledgeable about suicide prevention skills, and more concerned about the impact of seeking mental health care on their career. Recommendations include: (1) conducting effective suicide prevention training and mental health awareness campaigns, and evaluating their implementation, (2) establishing programs to encourage Officers to seek help for mental health concerns, and (3) addressing Service members' concerns that seeking help will have an adverse impact on their careers."

Report Number:
PERSEREC-TR-18-10; Defense Personnel and Security Research Center Technical Report 18-10; OPA-2018-048; Office of People Analytics Report No. 2018-048
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Defense Human Resources Activity: https://www.dhra.mil/
Media Type:
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