The Deployment Stress Management Program (DSMP) is located in Mental Health Services within the Office of Medical Services. The DSMP is a community based program to support the psychological health of Foreign Service Officers (FSO), Department of State (DoS) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) employees, and their families who are or will be assigned to high stress / high threat / unaccompanied tours (HS/HT/UT). DSMP provides information, referrals, initial assessment and brief treatment for problems related to the stress of deployment.
DSMP assists DoS health providers abroad with consultation and information, and works with the Family Liaison Office, the Foreign Service Institute, the Diplomatic Security Training Center, and other customers in supporting the needs of families and populations with specific deployment related needs. DSMP spans the entire time spectrum of deployment operations, addressing prevention, detection and treatment of psychological health issues pre-, during, and post-deployment to HS/HT/UT.
The primary preventive thrust of the DSMP is developing resiliency, the ability of a person to withstand psychological stresses in the environment, tolerate and control any subjective sensation of distress, maintain function during the stressful period, and return rapidly to an optimal state of psychological health after resolution of the stress.
If, despite our best efforts at prevention, psychological injury occurs, the DSMP includes effective methods of detecting the injury early regardless of whether the onset is during the deployment or occurs weeks to years later, as is often the case with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Detection and assessment of psychological injury may occur because the injured person is able to recognize and accurately report symptoms. It may also occur if health care providers are trained to ask necessary questions or are provided with screening tools which can identify persons at risk who need further evaluation.
Treatment for psychological injuries is available and is more effective if started early. Persuading the injured to come forward and get help requires overcoming the perceived stigma attached to mental health treatment, and the fears that getting mental health treatment will adversely affect medical and security clearances, assignment opportunities and career progression. The treatment used, Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy for PTSD by DSMP clinicians is recommended by American Psychiatric Association PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) and Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline.
Deployment Stress Management Program Brochure