Was Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Designed to Fail?
Military Uses Unproven Mental Health Programs, Report Finds
BY MAGGIE FOX
Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars, as well as other service members and their families, have high rates of depression, anxiety and other disorders, yet the U.S. military isn’t using tested screening methods to help prevent them, a team of experts said Thursday.
And despite extensive research, the panel of experts couldn’t find any proven Department of Defense programs to prevent domestic abuse. Programs to battle sexual assault — another documented problem — aren’t being assessed to see if they actually work, the Institute of Medicine panel reported.
“A fundamental finding of the committee is that, with some notable exceptions, few of DOD’s prevention interventions are theory- or evidence-based,” wrote Kenneth E. Warner, a public health expert at the University of Michigan who headed the panel.
One obvious example of an unproven and controversial approach is the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, which includes a mandatory online training program developed with the American Psychological Association, the report finds.
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