On April 18, CIR held a colloquium to launch its new journal — Military Behavioral Health – the first academic journal dedicated to the biopsychosocial health and well-being of servicemembers, veterans and families impacted by military service.
The colloquium featured presentations by several contributors to the first issue of the journal, to be published later this year. Members of the local community, CIR’s Advisory Boards, and USC faculty and staff were in attendance at the event. Information on the presenters, as well as presentation slides, are available below:
“Correlates of the Perceived Value of a Third-Location Decompression Program for Canadian Forces Personnel Returning from Afghanistan” (PRESENTATION SLIDES)
Colonel Rakesh Jetly, M.D., FRCPC, Mental Health and Psychiatry Advisor, Canadian Forces Surgeon General
“Facilitators and Barriers in Effective Clinical Practice with Redeployed Military and Veteran Couples”
Kathryn Basham, Ph.D., LICSW, Professor, Smith College School of Social Work
For more information on Military Behavioral Health, including submission guidelines, visit CIR’s webpage on the journal or the publisher’s website. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please contact the Senior Editor, Dr. Jeff Wilkins (email@example.com).
A delegation from the USC School of Social Work recently traveled to the island of Cyprus to observe the Third Location Decompression model employed by the Canadian Forces to prepare servicemembers for reintegration into civilian life following deployments to combat zones.
The following video includes photos and observations by the USC delegation, and was produced by the USC School of Social Work and the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) to demonstrate the value of decompression programs for servicemembers returning from deployment.
From November 29th to December 3rd, a small delegation from USC’s School of Social Work traveled to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus at the invitation of Major P.J. Crow of the Canadian Forces, to observe the decompression program for Canadian servicemembers finishing their deployments. The USC delegation included Dean Marilyn Flynn and Dr. Anthony Hassan (USC School of Social Work), Dr. Jeffery Wilkins (Lincy Foundation), COL Darc Keller (California National Guard), and Dr. Carl McKnight (Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health).
Canada’s Third-Location Decompression (TLD) model is based on the understanding that all servicemembers have directly or indirectly shared painful or distressing experiences during their deployment, and that spending some time in a location that is neither a military base nor home will help them prepare themselves both mentally and emotionally for their return to life at home base and in the community. The program is held at the Azia Resort and Spa near Paphos, and offers groups of approximately 150 servicemembers five days to unwind and re-acclimate to civilian life before finishing their journey home.
During their stay at the resort, they are required to attend four hours of mental readiness training. Afternoons and evenings are left free, so that servicemembers can use the hotel’s spa or explore the island’s historical sites, restaurants, and beaches. Upon their return home, these servicemembers receive additional training and a follow-up meeting 60 days later to evaluate their transition back into their communities.
The USC delegation had the opportunity to observe, interact, and interview staff and returning servicemembers participating in the TLD program, and discovered a high level of satisfaction among the program’s participants. According to evaluations conducted by the Canadian Forces, there is consensus that the TLD program is valuable as both a component of the decompression process and as a phase of the transition process, which begins prior to deployment and continues after the servicemembers’ return home. Although a family component has not yet been incorporated into the program, the Canadian Forces recognize the need to include family members in the process and plan to introduce this component into the program.