Ohio Army National Guard PTSD Study

Risk and Resilience Factors for Combat-Related Posttraumatic Psychopathology and Post Combat Adjustment

physician talking with a soldierThe Ohio Army National Guard Mental Health Initiative (OHARNG-MHI) began in 2008 to evaluate the relationships between resilience and risk factors of developing PTSD and other mental illness, and follows soldiers in the Ohio National Guard longitudinally, before, during, and after deployment. The "Risk and Resilience" project is designed to study the relationships between 1) pre-existing mental illness/substance use disorders, 2) deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and 3) post-deployment related mental health and overall psychosocial adjustment.

The study, led by Dr. Joseph Calabrese, recently completed its ninth and final year of data collection. Since the project began in 2008, over 11,300 interviews have been completed with 3,800 Ohio National Guard members.

The project has been able to provide the Ohio National Guard and the community with study related results that will ultimately benefit servicemen and their families. It has been found that: 1) the most common reason individuals stay in the guard is to serve their country, 2) post-deployment social support is an essential factor in the prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder and 3) depression and post-traumatic stress disorder increase the risk of new onset alcohol abuse, during or after deployment.

To date, the study has produced 35 published manuscripts. If you are interested in receiving a list of our published manuscripts, along with a summary of the take home message of each, please e-mail Carla Conroy.