L. Cruise, Army News Service
D. C. — In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, the
Department of Defense will offer free, anonymous assessment tools
online throughout the month of April in an effort to educate
servicemembers and their families on the symptoms and signs of alcohol
tools are designed to educate military personnel about the potential
risks associated with alcohol use and help them make informed
decisions about their drinking behaviors. In an effort to raise
awareness of these and other resources available to service personnel
and their families, the military is promoting a new Web site, http://www.DrinkingIQ.org,
at installations worldwide.
year, millions of Americans — one in every 13 adults — suffer from
alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Millions more drink at times or
in ways that can place themselves or others at risk.
Mental Health Self-Assessment Program (MHSAP) gives
servicemembers and their families the opportunity to learn more
about mental health and alcohol use through anonymous
self-assessments offered online, via the phone, and through
special events held at installations.
program is designed to help individuals identify their own
symptoms and access assistance before a problem becomes serious.
The self-assessments address posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use,
and bipolar disorder. After completing a self-assessment,
individuals receive referral information including services
provided through the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
is a program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health and is
fully funded by Force Health Protection and Readiness, Office of
the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs.
take a free, anonymous self-assessment, visit http://www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org
or call 1-877-877-3647.
more information in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-2441.
personnel and their families also may be susceptible to alcohol misuse
because of the stresses associated with deployment. A new study
released by the University of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) last month revealed that alcohol abuse is
a problem among active-duty military personnel and is strongly
associated with many health and social problems, just as in the
assessment and education tools are offered through the Mental Health
Self-Assessment Program (MHSAP), a voluntary, anonymous mental health
and alcohol self-assessment and referral program offered to military
families and service members.
an effort to raise awareness of responsible drinking, MHSAP has
distributed promotional materials including posters and sports water
bottles to military installation fitness centers and alcohol programs.
materials direct service personnel and their families to a new Web
which connects users to the online tools available at no cost.
servicemembers and their families with information and resources
empowers them to learn the potential risks associated with drinking
and determine if they or a loved one may need to seek appropriate
support," said Col. Joyce Adkins, Ph.D, MPH, Department of
Defense, Office of Health Affairs. "Research indicates that brief
interventions for drinking problems can be an effective treatment for
some alcohol use disorders without the need for further clinical
addition to offering alcohol assessment and education tools
year-round, the MHSAP program offers self-assessments for
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, generalized anxiety
disorder, and bipolar disorder.
learn more or to complete an assessment tool, go to the Web site http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/military.