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Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
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Updating the Unit Behavioral Health Needs Assessment

Article photo The Unit Behavioral Health Needs Assessment (UBHNA) is a tool utilized by behavioral health officers (BHO) to monitor health and well-being, and identify areas of concern to provide leadership with unit-specific guidance. This tool was developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) ten years ago and is undergoing an update in design, accessibility, and comparison data.

Part of a larger effort to update the UBHNA, MRD-W is collaborating with WRAIR’s Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience (MPN) and the Fort Hood Field Office to incorporate updated scales into the tool and pilot the new instrument. Data collected during the development stage will support the establishment of a new, normative database to replace data collected in the 2003-2004 timeframe in order to reflect the current operational climate.

In support of this effort, MRD-W conducted several information gathering sessions with BHOs and company commanders from the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command to assess the current behavioral health climate and solicit feedback on utilization of and optimization plans for the tool.

They followed up with the collection of over 1,500 surveys using the first version of the revised instrument. In line with MRD-W’s rapid response capabilities, the data was quickly analyzed and feedback was provided to unit commanders within a month.

A second data collection session at JBLM was conducted in August using a refined version of the UBHNA tool, with a final JBLM iteration tentatively planned for early 2017.

Two additional data collections are scheduled to occur at Ft Hood and Ft Riley. The end result will be a refined and validated tool to ensure leadership has the best information available to guide decision-making on behavioral health issues.

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