Creation of the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) -- March 2008

The Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) is a tremendous success story for the APA Education Directorate. In November 2007, the CDP was incorporated into the Department of Defense (DoD) Center of Excellence to be the military arm for training health professionals for meeting the mental health needs of returning military personnel and their families.

The CDP is expected to receive $5 million in its first year as part of the DoD Center of Excellence. It will no longer need a separate appropriation. The CDP was cited in a number of official reports as an exemplary program including the DoD Mental Health Task Force Report, An Achievable Vision: Report of the DoD Mental Health Task Force (June 2007), and the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (July 2007). It is a significant accomplishment for which the APA Education community can be especially proud.

The CDP would never have been created and sustained without the APA Education Government Relations Office advocacy and the assistance of Dr. Herbert Goldstein and his Representative Bill Young (R-FL), Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Other APA members, including Drs. Jerry Grammar and Neal Morris, also advocated for funding of this worthwhile program.

The CDP was established in FY 2006 with $3.4 million. Instrumental in planning were Drs. Vicki Ingram and Bruce Crow from the Army, Dr. Jim Farvet from the Air Force and Dr. Morgan Sammons from the Navy, Dr. David Krantz of the Uniformed Services University and a number of their colleagues. Dr. David Riggs, the CDP Director has played a critical role in its effective implementation.

The CDP is a tri-service center training psychologists, psychology interns and residents, and other health professionals from the Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as civilian professionals to provide high quality deployment-related behavioral health services to military personnel and their families. Since its inception in January 2007, the CDP has trained over 100 military personnel and civilians at its core two-week training course held at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, MD and over 500 military personnel and civilians at the ten participating Military Medical Centers across the country.

Continued funding for the CDP would allow for the continuation of education and training efforts already underway as well as for the initiation of additional activities, such as increasing outreach to communities impacted by deployments by developing workshops that will be delivered in community settings, developing resources to sustain a peer support and consultation system, increasing delivery of materials and information via internet and other communication technologies, and developing a knowledge base of best practices in the care of deployment-related problems among military personnel and their families. Please visit the CDP website for further details on the program and for a schedule of upcoming two-week training seminars and workshops.