Responding to Trauma at Sea

Research Paper Title

Responding to Trauma at Sea: A Case Study in Psychological First Aid, Unique Occupational Stressors, and Resiliency Self-Care.

Abstract

The U.S. Navy deploys Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Teams (SPRINT) to sites of military disasters to assist survivors and the command.

SPRINT functions primarily as a consultant to help commands effectively respond to the mental health needs of their service members following a traumatic event.

Utilising the principles of psychological first aid, the overall goal of SPRINT is to mitigate long-term mental health dysfunction and facilitate recovery at both the individual and unit level.

The researchers present a case study of a SPRINT mission to a deployed US Navy ship in response to a cluster of suicides and subsequent concerns about the well-being of the remaining crew.

Throughout this mission, important themes emerged, such as the impact of accumulated operational stressors and the subsequent development of mental health stigma.

Also, this case study demonstrates the potential effectiveness of introducing resiliency self-care meditation training to remote environments that lack ready access to mental health resources.

From here, SPRINT can provide a model for immediate disaster mental health response that has potential relevancy beyond the military.

Reference

Millegan, J., Delaney, E.M., Klam, W. (2016) Responding to Trauma at Sea: A Case Study in Psychological First Aid, Unique Occupational Stressors, and Resiliency Self-Care. Military Medicine. 181(11):e1692-e1695.

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