Mental Health and Mental Health Service Use Attitudes among Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Recruits and Officer Cadets


  1. Fikretoglu, D.
  2. D'Agata, M.T.
  3. Sullivan-Kwantes, W.
  4. Richards, K.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN)
Background: Mental disorders constitute a significant public health, operational effectiveness, and force sustainability problem in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). However, underutilization of mental health services is a major problem. Attitudes, expectations, and beliefs around mental health and mental health service use are significant drivers of underutilization of mental health services in CAF members. The Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) mental health education program is a key intervention in the CAF aimed at changing attitudes surrounding mental health and mental health service use. R2MR is delivered throughout the military career cycle, beginning at Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) and Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) training with Non-Commissioned Member (NCM) recruits and officer cadets, respectively. Objectives: In this study, we wanted to assess whether R2MR targets the most important drivers of mental health and mental health service use attitudes at BMQ and BMOQ, and we also wanted to determine if these targets need to be modified. To that end, we examined mental health and mental health service use beliefs, expectations, and attitudes in NCM recruits and officer cadets, using two well-known theoretical models: the Self-Regulatory Model (SRM) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TpB). Design: This qualitative study was conducted during the first few weeks of the BMQ and BMOQ, well before the recruits and officer cadets received R2MR around week eigh

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R2MR;mental health education;attitude
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-R027 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Feb 2017
Number of Pages
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