Operational Mental Health Needs Evaluation
Principal Investigators: Professor Neil Greenberg and Major Norman Jones
The Operational Mental Health Needs Evaluation (OMHNE) is a questionnaire-delivered survey which has the primary aim of carrying out an in-situ assessment of the mental health of 15% of military personnel deployed to operational theatres. Secondary aims include investigating the provision of operational mental health support such as TRiM, primary care mental health support and also general mental health support in the operational theatre. Subsidiary tasks include identifying the prevalence of self reported head injury and concussion and the psychological impact of contact with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
At the end of the visit, the outcomes of the OMHNE survey are communicated by briefing to senior operational commanders. A comprehensive report is completed prior to leaving theatre. The target sample includes a mixture of those deployed to rear and forward areas. The final sample also includes reasonable numbers of personnel from higher risk groups. Survey distribution is conducted by the OMHNE team wherever possible. Location commanders are asked to assemble all available personnel in one central location in order to receive a brief from a member of the survey team prior to the surveys being distributed. Completed surveys are scanned into a proprietary software database which ‘reads’ the completed boxes on the questionnaire and converts them to numerical information which is transferred to analytical software.
Two previous surveys have been successfully completed in Iraq in 2009 (OP TELIC 13) and Afghanistan in 2010 (OP HERRICK 11). The latest survey was completed in Afghanistan in August 2011. The methodology or the survey is based upon the influential US Mental Health Assessment Team (MHAT) surveys carried out by the United States military since 2003. The OMHNE survey team is composed of a team leader and data analyst, a Military Psychiatrist and two to three non-medical Warrant Officers or other Senior Ranks