Jan. 20, 2017

Research investigates help-seeking messages

Researchers at Purdue University are working to deepen understanding of what kinds of messages from family members are most helpful and effective at encouraging veterans to seek behavioral healthcare, when needed.

Led by Professor Steve Wilson of Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication, the team aims to gain a deeper understanding of these interactions from both the family member and veteran perspectives. Ultimately, the research results may inform programs whose mission it is to assist military and veteran families. The study includes an online survey that takes about 30 minutes to complete and asks the veteran to evaluate a message crafted by family members who took part in phase one of the study.

“We know these conversations can be difficult,” said Wilson, who is also a faculty associate at the Military Family Research Institute. “Thanks to the help of people who work with veterans, we were able to spread the word about phase one of our research, where we surveyed and interviewed family members of veterans. They described what they might say to a loved one to encourage them to seek help for symptoms of depression, PTSD or other, similar issues. We are now seeking to gain important information from the veteran's perspective.”

Eligible veterans interested in taking part in this survey can do so here. Participation is voluntary and open to veterans who are no longer connected to the military and who completed one or more deployments in OIF, OEF or OND. Participation is confidential and those who take part will receive a $10 Amazon gift card upon completion of the survey. If you have questions, contact:

  • Steve Wilson, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Brian Lamb School of Communication
  • Faculty Associate, Military Family Research Institute
  • Purdue University
  • militaryfamilycommunication@purdue.edu
  • 765-414-0094