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Despite the range of resources available to support Service members who encounter life stressors, approximately 50%–80% of military personnel who need mental health support, particularly those at risk for suicide, do not utilize resources. In FY21, the Defense Personnel and Security Research Center, a division of the Defense Personnel Analytics Center, developed a web-based Resources Exist, Asking Can Help (REACH) facilitator training designed to assist with REACH dissemination. REACH is an upstream suicide risk intervention that aims to normalize help-seeking among Service members by reducing barriers to care and increasing knowledge of resources. This field test used a randomized evaluation design to assess the effectiveness of the web-based REACH facilitator training relative to the existing instructor-led facilitator training. We also used a one-group pretest-posttest design to evaluate the effectiveness of REACH for reducing barriers to care, increasing knowledge of resources, and increasing resource utilization among geographically isolated Service members, who have limited access to services. Results indicated that while the web-based and instructor-led training formats resulted in similar levels of facilitator knowledge gain, training satisfaction, and confidence to lead a REACH session, facilitators appeared to rate instructor-led training as more useful and engaging than web-based training. Geographically isolated Service member participants reported decreased perceived barriers to help-seeking and increased knowledge of resources and likelihood of future help-seeking at 3-month follow-up. Participants’ rates of resource utilization in response to a significant stressor (27%– 44%) were similar 3 months before and after a REACH session. Report recommendations address how to implement REACH more broadly across the total military force.
Produced By: PERSEREC
Document Type: Report
Product ID: TR-24-01, DPAC-2024-003