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Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
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Completed first Mental Health Advisory Team mission in the Pacific region

Article photo Mental Health Advisory Teams, or MHATs, are a unique tool used by the Army to conduct rapid assessments that benchmark the behavioral health status of Service Members in remote and stressful environments. Results from MHATs deliver key information and timely recommendations to military senior leaders to promote psychological health and resilience. MHATs also provide researchers a platform to better understand emerging behavioral health threats and contemporary challenges faced by Service Members and leadership.

A team of eight MRD-W and WRAIR Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience (MPN) researchers traveled to the Republic of Korea (ROK) to conduct the fourteenth MHAT mission and first MHAT in the Pacific region.

MHAT-Korea was requested by the Deputy Commanding General of US Forces Korea (USFK), in response to concerns about behavioral health issues and a perceived spike in suicidal behaviors.

Over two months, the combined team conducted surveys and focus groups with all seven major subordinate commands of the US 8th Army and conducted an assessment of the Army behavioral health service line. Special focus on staffing, access to care, suicidality, and risk and resilience factors related to behavioral health status and comparisons to other MHAT settings previously assessed was requested by USFK Command Surgeon.

The MHAT-K team collected over 1,600 surveys from 8th Army Soldiers as well as 60 provider surveys from behavioral health staff. They also conducted over 20 focus groups with Soldiers and Behavioral Health providers throughout the ROK. The initial results were briefed to leadership from 8th Army, Pacific Command, and Regional Health Command-Pacific in March. The final report was completed in May and results were provided to 8th Army, USFK, and RHC-P.

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