Coming Home Project Contributes to Successful Reintegration New dcoe report

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Coming Home Project Contributes to Successful Reintegration – New DCoE Report
A long-awaited report from the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and TBI (DCoE) published on February 10, 2012 highlights the Coming Home Project for its holistic mind-body approach to reintegration. DCoE recognizes the need for developing a comprehensive approach to reintegration based on the Total Force Fitness (TFF) model. Of the thousands of programs initially reviewed, the Coming Home Project addresses the components and recommendations outlined by the DCoE for successful reintegration.

Among the 8 programs selected for this report, the Coming Home Project is the only one that effectively addresses all of the study’s key dimensions -- psychological, behavioral, social-family, and spiritual -- and whose significant outcome data is featured.

Successful Reintegration Components:

Address all four domains of Total Force Fitness: psychological, behavioral, social-family and spiritual fitness.

Include all stages of deployment.

Span all branches of the military.

Include all military status (active duty, reservists, guard, veterans).

Include service members, veterans, and their families, connecting with community resources.

Address reintegration, resilience, transition assistance, mental health, peer support, prevention, early intervention, identification, triage, and referral.

Have solid outcome data.

Global Recommendations:

Reduce stigma.

Reduce geographical and emotional isolation and restore connections.

Utilize and foster collaboration across agencies, services, and branches.

Embody a thoroughly holistic, integrative approach

Have proven outcome measures and assessment tools

Integrate family and community as well as mental, behavioral and clinical dimensions.

Provide all these elements under one roof.

About the Report

The DCoE provides resources in prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation and reintegration programs for psychological health (PH) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to support service members and families.

The DCoE’s new report, “A Review of Post-Deployment Reintegration” outlines the challenges, presents the evidence, and recommends program development strategies to enhance reintegration services.

The first challenge the report identifies is the absence of a definition for reintegration and a framework for evaluating reintegration programs, especially those that provide support across populations and military services.

To address this challenge the study applied the TFF framework to reintegration and reintegration support services.

TFF’s holistic mind-body view of fitness for duty make it in the authors’ view an ideal model and set of criteria to employ in defining and evaluating reintegration resources. The review focused on the 4 primary domains of TTF: psychological, behavioral, social-family, and spiritual fitness and found that:

  • Each of the 4 domains is connected with every other domain.

  • Service members experiencing problems in one will likely also struggle with other areas of fitness following a deployment.

  • Service members benefit from a program that offers support across several domains (psychological, behavioral, social-family and spiritual); allowing for support from a single resource rather than multiple programs.

The review used extensive focused literature searches, internet searches, information provided by subject matter experts, and included DoD, VA and community-based non-profit programs.

This joint DoD and VA study surveyed thousands of programs throughout the DoD, VA and the non-profit arena. From this extensive review, 8 reintegration programs that address multiple fitness domains were selected to profile in the report. The study presents for each program a general description of services, a detailed discussion of the domains it addresses, and particular program insights and considerations.

It also provides four global recommendations for reintegration programming and suggests improvements to the reintegration process based on the report’s extensive literature review, data gathering and findings reported.

Four Global Recommendations:

  1. Develop a cross-service, cross-agency definition and approach to reintegration reflects the value placed on coordination, collaboration, simplification, and a standardized approach, using TFF criteria.

  2. Improve access to care, education and resources. Reducing stigma and enhancing services for geographically dispersed service members are highlighted.

  3. Apply a more holistic approach to reintegration throughout the deployment cycle, include family and community in the process and programs, and integrate medical, mental and behavioral health care.

  4. Assess procedures and metrics to measure successful reintegration programs.

Importance of Reintegration

A survey of service members seeking care from the VA following deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan found that 40 percent of the respondents reported perceiving some to extreme difficulty reintegrating into civilian life (Sayer et al., 2010). The importance of successful reintegration has consistently been recognized as vital to individual and unit success in the deployment cycle (Doyle & Peterson, 2005), highlighting the need for a greater understanding of the factors that promote positive reintegration experiences and the importance of support resources during this process. Nearly all of those questioned (96 percent) in the 2010 VA survey expressed an interest in services to help service members readjust to the civilian lifestyle upon their return from deployment.

About the Coming Home Project

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