Psychological Stress Profoundly Impacts Health and Performance
Charles River Analytics (CRA) has won a follow-on contract from the US Office of Naval Research to build a low-cost, flexible option for training psychological flexibility and enhancing resilience and performance in the Marine Corps (USMC). The contract is valued at close to US$750,000.
Strengthening Health and Improving Emotional Defenses (SHIELD) will address the issue of psychological stress experienced by Marines, which can have a profound impact on both health and performance, affecting interactions with family and peers. Partnering with Intelligent Automation, CRA is developing SHIELD to train Marines in developing psychological fitness and promoting healthy responses to adverse and stressful events. SHIELD is a comprehensive, portable psychological resilience programme based on the latest evidence-based strategies from psychological skills training, stress management strategies and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
“While the benefits of psychological skills training and stress management strategies are clear, one significant challenge is how to deliver these benefits to Marines,” Dr Seth Elkin-Frankston, a CRA scientist, explained. “We are developing a programme in SHIELD that will improve Marines’ ability to flexibly adapt and cope with stressors and avoid the negative consequences associated with increased adversity. The SHIELD programme will be delivered through a mobile application designed to build a composite of individual needs and guide personalised training objectives.”
Marines will use a mobile app to engage and interact with the SHIELD programme, accessing content, engaging in training exercises and providing periodic self-assessment reports through an intuitive interface.
SHIELD is the latest example of CRA’s range of healthcare support and training capability insertion, building on expertise in psychological skills training, mobile platform development, data fusion and biosensor technologies. (Image: CRA)