Ireland Army Community Hospital
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RESPECT-Mil

RESPECT Mil
Re-engineering Systems of Primary Care Treatment in the Military
Contact (502) 624-9779
http://www.pdhealth.mil/respect-mil/index.asp



Post-Deployment Soldiers

What does it feel like for a Soldier to return home from a war zone?  For some Soldiers the adjustment is fairly easy, but for others returning to a "normal life" can be a struggle.  Some returning Soldiers may complain of having  nightmares, difficulty sleeping, an increase in irritation or aggression, or perhaps a feeling of being constantly on alert.  Other Soldiers may have unexplained aches and pains, a loss of interest i n activities, or a feeling of being drained or numb.

What Does It Mean?

If you or a Soldier you care about is experiencing some of these symptoms, the Soldier may be experiencing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Depression is not the normal ups and downs of life.  It's an ongoing down mood along with other factors that persists for several weeks or longer.  A mix of biological and emotional factors may cause depression.  It can affect the total person.  In addition to feelings, it can change thoughts, appearance, behavior, and even a Soldier's physical health.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after exposure to one or more terrifying events in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened.  It is a severe and ongoing emotion reaction that can interrupt a Soldier's daily life, straining relationships and making it more difficult to focus on work.

It's Not Unusual

Nearly 20 percent of American Soldiers returning from active deployment screen positive for a major behavioral disorder.  Of these, 78 percent say they need help, yet only one in four seeks behavioral health specialty care, according to Department of Defense sponsored research.  Some Soldiers may be worried about how treatment will affect their chances of deployment.  Or they may feel like getting help is a sign of weakness.

The good news for those who are diagnosed with depression and/or PTSD is that both can be treated with a high rate of success.

RESPECT-Mil (Re-Engineering Systems of Primary Care Treatment in the Military).

RESPECT-Mil is a treatment model designed by the United States Department of Defense's Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) to screen, assess, and treat active duty Soldiers with depression and/or PTSD.  This program is modeled after a program that's proven effective in treating civilian patients with depression.

The RESPECT-Mil program is also proving to have a significant positive impact on Soldiers with depression and/or PTSD.  In a 2006 trial run for RESPECT-Mil at Fort Bragg, more than 4,000 Soldiers were screened for depression and PTSD and about 10 percent screened positive for depression, PTSD, or both.  Of those Soldiers engaging in the RESPECT-Mil program, about 70 percent of those with moderate to severe depression had their symptoms improve in 12 weeks or more; and about 90 percent of those with PTSD experienced similar improvement during the same amount of time.

Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

All Soldiers are encouraged to complete a short, simple RESPECT-Mil screening questionnaire when visiting a primary care clinic.  If they screen positive, they are asked to fill out an additional questionnaire or two which ask basic questions about their energy level, ability to sleep, and appetite, to name a few.  Based on their responses, primary care clinicians specifically trained to screen for and communicate with Soldiers about depression and PTSD, will first evaluate, and then develop, a treatment plan for each Soldier if needed.

A Soldier's treatment may include prescription medications, counseling, or both.  Once a treatment plan is devised, a RESPECT-Mil Care Facilitator will monitor the Soldier's progress through periodic phone contact.  The Care Facilitator will convey Soldier health updates to primary care providers and mental health supervisors.

The Facts: Fitness and Deployment

  • A diagnosis and treatment of depression or PTSD does not automatically prevent deployment

  • Medications can be and are used during deployment

  • Participation in the RESPECT-Mil program does not start the Chapter Discharge or Medical Board Process

  • Untreated depression and PTSD are likely to get worse and lead to a fitness problem

Learn More

For more information about depression or PTSD, we encourage you or someone you care about to contact the RESPECT-Mil Care Facilitators listed at the top of this page.  You can also visit http://www.pdhealth.mil/respect-mil/index.asp for additional information and resources.

Ireland Army Community Hospital