Principal Investigators: Major Norman Jones and Professor Neil Greenberg
Investigators: Captain Mo Fertout and Ms Elizabeth Banwell
Third Location Decompression (TLD) is the process through which personnel, returning from combat operations, begin to psychologically ‘unwind’ before returning home. It takes place in Cyprus and is comprised of personal administration, beach events, social events, psycho-educational briefings and a controlled re-introduction to alcohol. 11304 British troops transiting the TLD facility during 2008 were surveyed following deployment to either to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Approximately 80% of respondents reported either ambivalence or not wanting to participate before their arrival, however, on completion approximately 91% reported finding it useful. Personnel who found TLD less helpful included those who had been through the process before, combat troops and non-commissioned officers. 12% reported substantial concerns about re-establishing relationships or settling down to normal life after their tour and those with the most concerns were more likely to perceive TLD as helpful. 5.6% reported significant post traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and 27% of troops reported substantial levels of stigma related to mental health and barriers to care