A new report commissioned by the Defense Department in the United States reveals there is little evidence to suggest that a large number of federal programs that were started to prevent psychological problems in military service members and their families actually work.
The report was produced by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies committee who were the most critical of the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, Pentagon's biggest and costliest prevention program, which is used by all sections of the Army. More than 900,000 soldiers receive training under the program, which costs around $50 million every year.
While the Army has declared the program to be a success, the committee found that the gains were not clinically meaningful and it did not lead to reduced rates of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. "The effects were so small. The amount of money being spent was so large. It did not look like a meaningful investment", Professor Kenneth Warner, who led the committee, said.