Category: Couples / Close Relationships

Symposium

Expanding Telephone-Based Coaching for Family Members Encouraging a Military Veteran to Seek Mental Health Care

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | Couples / Close Relationships | Substance Abuse
Presentation Type: Symposium

Military Veterans with mental health issues often do not seek mental health care, but family and friends often are the first to identify that care is needed. This presentation will describe the initial evaluation of the telephone-based coaching service provided by Coaching Into Care to help family concerned significant others, or CSOs, who have a Veteran in their life who is reluctant to seek mental health care. Initial findings (N = 165) suggest that telephone-based coaching of CSOs in their support of a Veteran can result in a 50% increase in the Veteran seeking and engaging in mental health care. However, CSOs concerned about a Veteran struggling with substance abuse may have more difficulty in this goal. We will present preliminary findings of an enhancement to this coaching service using web-based educational material based on the empirically supported intervention, Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) (Meyers, et al., 2011). The CRAFT intervention is meant to help a CSO encourage a family member reduce conflict with the Veteran struggling with substance abuse problems, enhance safety within the home, and increase the likelihood the Veteran will seek treatment. Our approach is to combine CSOs’ use of the web-based method of learning CRAFT material with support from a telephone-based coach. The aim of this project (target N = 50) is to test the method of supporting the CSO via the telephone for the following goals: 1) ensuring the CSOs can access and actually use the website, 2) help CSOs integrate the material, and 3) help CSOs start conversations with the Veteran about seeking care. We will describe the coaching strategies’ acceptability as rated by the CSOs, as well as preliminary reports of conversations that CSOs have with Veterans about seeking treatment.

Steven L. Sayers

Associate Professor
University of Pennsylvania and CMC VA Medical Center

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