August 20, 2007

Reducing Trauma-Related Stress in Military Personnel: Building Psychological Resilience

WHO:

Amy B. Adler, PhD, U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Europe, Heidelberg, Germany, and Neil Greenberg, MD, Surgeon Commander Royal Navy and Senior Lecturer in military psychiatry at the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health, London.

WHAT:

Presentations will address ways to identify those who may be suffering from traumatic events and ways to build resilience to minimize combat-related stress.

WHERE:

American Psychological Association's 115th Annual Convention
Moscone Center
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
East Mezzanine-South Building, Room 226

WHEN:

Monday, August 20. Session 4118, 10:00 - 11:50 AM

BACKGROUND:
 
Being deployed in combat is associated with high rates of stress-related symptoms that appear to increase after soldiers return home. Building resiliency and recognizing stress-related problems early on can prevent post-trauma stress and other problems during and after a tour of duty, say psychologists.
 
Adler will describe a study showing that resilience helps lessen the effect of combat after being deployed in a war zone. Those soldiers who scored high in resilience suffered fewer post-trauma symptoms. Additionally, those who perceived that their unit/organization supported them demonstrated even greater resilience.

The Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), described by Greenberg, is a new model that is used to teach non-medical staff, like peers, managers and leaders, to spot problems resulting from traumatic events, and refer those individuals to the appropriate specialists. Pioneered by the British military, TRiM has been used in military and non-military environments. It appears to benefit those who are at the greatest risk for seeing and experiencing trauma.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.