Mental health services in the Marine Corps an exploratory study of stigma and potential benefits of destigmatization training within the OSCAR (Operational Stress Control and Readiness) program
Cooper, Susanna R.
Thomas, Gail Fann
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This study examines stigma associated with mental health services counseling in the Marine Corps for the purpose of assessing areas of concern where lack of awareness or stigma exists. Marines with longstanding unresolved personal problems or more immediate emotional distress may be less effective, they may also not know where to go for help. Secondly, stigma may be associated with the fear of negative performance evaluations and decreased future promotions, which may reflect an underutilization of the available mental health services. Results of this study reflect: 1)that stigma does exist; 2)that Marines have a poor knowledge of the availability and variety of mental health services; 3)that there is little in the way of destigmatization training within the Marine Corps. By studying civilian models which may have a destigmatization component, this study presents possible methods for incorporating destigmatization training into the OSCAR program. Theoretically, the results of this study, garnered through interviews with practitioners, literature, and an OSCAR program review, can be used to further the efficacy of Marine Corps mental health services by way of education and destigmatization training.
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