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The US Army says, yes is can. The Mental Stress Program will start at two bases in October and will be phased in gradually. The 90 minute courses are meant to be used as a tool of prevention of suicide and depression. This training is the first of its kind and it is supposed to improve performance in combat and help with issues such as PTSD, depression and various other mental issues that plague about one fifth of the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The program will also be offered to families and civilian employees. The biggest lesson from this course will be to resolve and expose flawed habits that lead soldiers to a lot of their anger problems (e.g. not hearing from a spouse or family member and automatically assuming the worst). These classes will start as early as basic training for new recruits.
This program is of monumental importance for our military. Even though there is no proof as of yet how effective it will be, it shows that the US Army is serious about the mental health of its soldiers and it is attempting to find resolutions for the problem. The fact that it will be introduced to basic training also shows that the Army is taking it seriously and is making sure that young soldiers are exposed to this type of training from the get go. The subject of mental issues is a taboo topic in the military and many are worried that it can be a career ender if they talk about these issues. It is very important the Army is taking necessary steps to attempt to curb that belief and offer training that will hopefully start a path to towards a new view of mental issues. Even in the general population, mental issues and illness have been viewed differently than other injuries and it is important that one of our biggest institutions is taking a step toward treating it like other ailments.
The Army has taken some bold steps recently with the innovative recruiting campaign, its embrace of social media and now is taking a big step towards the wellness and health of its soldiers. As the new wave of young Americans are thinking about joining the military, it is encouraging to see that one of our biggest institutions is not becoming complacent, is trying to stay ahead of the curve both from a communications stand point with the public and is attempting to improve its services to current personnel.