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Staying Strong by Seeking Help: Barriers and Facilitators to Mental Health Treatment-Seeking

Thu April 19, 2018: 11:00 am-12:30 pm EDT


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Hands reaching out to suffering service member


This 90-minute webinar addresses the determinants of mental health treatment seeking among military personnel and interventions to increase the percentage of military personnel seeking treatment. Determinants of treatment seeking address both barriers and facilitators. Barriers include such factors as the perceived stigma associated with harm to one’s career and differential treatment by fellow service members, negative attitudes toward mental health treatment, not having enough time to work treatment into a busy schedule, and a preference for handling problems oneself. Facilitators of treatment seeking include the support of family and friends, leaders, and unit members, positive attitudes toward mental health treatment, and a recognition that symptoms are interfering with performance and relationships. Interventions to reduce barriers and increase facilitators of treatment seeking are discussed, including emphasizing mental health treatment as a mechanism for increasing resilience, modifications to the number and duration of treatment sessions, and increasing supportive behaviors by fellow unit members for helping service members receive and remain in treatment.


Thomas Britt, Ph.D.,  is a Trevillian Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Clemson University. He received his PhD from the University of Florida in 1994 before entering active duty as a research psychologist in the US Army at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  His current research programs investigate how stigma and other barriers to care influence employees in high-stress occupations seeking needed mental health treatment, and the identification of factors that promote resilience among employees in high-stress occupations. His research has been funded by multiple grants and contracts from the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.


1.5 CEUs are available through the UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. These educational hours may be submitted by professionals to meet continuing education requirements for renewal of Social Work, Professional Counselor, and Marriage and Family Therapist licenses. The UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work is an approved CE provider in all but the following 11 states: Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
However, participants are encouraged to check with their states’ latest licensing rules to confirm reciprocity and CEU rules.

To obtain CEUs for this webinar, take the evaluation and post-test.


Additional Resources

Power Point (PDF) 

Power Point (SlideShare) 

Cover Image: US Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Devin N. Boyer, Wikimedia Commons, CC0

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