Effectiveness of a structured training program on mentoring and mental well-being for officers and instructors in the Indian air force
More details
Hide details
National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), India
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1232
Background and Objectives: Military environment is characterized by uncertain situations and stressors that range from combat to separation from family. For personnel from the Indian Air Force (IAF), stress is habitual in everyday life. Stigma, lack of knowledge and negative attitudes towards mental health act as barriers to treatment. The new trainees join the Indian Air Force during a crucial stage of adolescence and effective mentorship can foster success in their career and aid in mental well-being. The sample consisted of 70 Indian Air Force instructors/officers who attended a week-long training workshop on mentorship and mental well-being. This study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of a structured training program on mentoring and mental well-being for officers and instructors in the Indian Air Force. Furthermore, this study investigated the relationship between age, experience, educational qualification and pre-training knowledge, attitude and self-perceived competence. Methods: The study employed a quasi- experimental design with single group pre and post test. The questionnaire measured 3 components- a) mentorship and mental health knowledge b) attitude c) self- perceived competence in addressing mental health distress. Descriptive statistics, paired sample t tests and Pearson’s product correlation were used for data analysis through SPSS software. Results: Post-training, a positive effect was found on mental health knowledge, attitude and self- perceived competence at statistically significant levels. There was an increase in mental health knowledge, self-perceived competence and a decrease in negative attitude towards mental health. Furthermore, a positive relationship was found between service experience, attitude and competence. Conclusions: With high rates of unattended mental health needs and increasing rates of suicides, mental health distress in members and veterans of armed forces developing effective programs for reducing barriers to care is essential. Therefore, structured training programs could be an effective key in addressing the urgent need for crucial mental health needs.