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Preventing Psychological & Moral Injury in Military Service (Audio Training, 3 Credits)

with Jonathan Shay, MD

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This session will be an informal, unofficial international exchange among military and mental health professionals on prevention and early treatment of psychological and moral injury in military service. No one will speak officially for their services or for their governments. Their remarks are their own. Attendees agree not to publish or circulate attributed quotations, without permission of the person quoted; participation does not imply endorsement of remarks by other presenters. An occupational health framework provides structure: PRIMARY prevention: eliminate war; SECONDARY: redesign culture, policies, and practices to prevent and reduce injury to troops; TERTIARY: early, expert, and farforward detection, assessment, and treatment of exposures and injuries as they happen, but still within the military institutions. The specific allocation of time among specific levels of prevention, and to specific practices, policies, research overviews and needs for research, will be shaped by the mix of interests brought to the session by attendees. In past years, attendees from all over the world have made enormously valuable contributions, and air time will be provided for attendees who wish to speak at greater length than the usual conference question or comment. The presenters come to learn as well as to teach. Active duty uniformed presenters may be unable to attend if deployed by their forces, but the remaining presenters will be able to conduct the session. This year´s sub-theme is MISCONDUCT COMBAT STRESS BEHAVIORS. All aspects of service member misconduct will be open for consideration: prevention, awareness, cultural and social process dimensions, as a disastrous complication of psychological injury, measurement issues, military leadership, personnel policy, and training dimensions.

Learning Objectives

  • Define moral injury in the context of military service and misconduct during combat.
  • Explain how moral injury could exacerbate PTSD or depression related to combat trauma.
  • Specify the elements of the 4 tier model to prevent and ameliorate moral injury in military service.