Following the societal evolutions of the last 50 years, people are less prepared to deal with critical situations. The relationship to aggression, to death, and to modern comfort have dramatically changed the mindset of individuals.
The preparation of first responders, not only military but also civilian (firefighters, police, and others) becomes a challenge. Many programs have tried to improve the mental preparedness of particular populations, such as Special Forces or pilots, but it is still difficult to apply to large numbers of cohorts who tend to disappear in social and educational terms.
Modern armed forces in particular, as their number of personnel are in decline, must work to optimize their resources in combat and to prevent psychological traumatic risks that have shown to have significant social and financial impact.
The aim of the Mental Resilience Program is to give any military member within the Alliance, the tools to better manage his (or her) resistance to critical situations and thus avoid the risk of psychological disorder.
This program includes a set of mental strategies (both cognitive and behavioural) that enable anyone to mobilize his (or her) resources (physiological, emotional, cognitive and behavioural) according to the requirements of the situations encountered in order to achieve their objectives.
The aim is to help people mobilize their own body’s resources for sustainable performance. It can therefore be considered as a method of mental preparation that, along with physical preparation, fits into a comprehensive approach to the individual preparedness, and thus constitutes an essential element of the professional and operational framework.
This program is divided into 3 phases:
- Phase 1: Before Deployment:
As a preparation phase to understand principles, to increase self-control, and to integrate techniques.
- Phase 2: During Deployment:
To regulate a person’s energy level during the day according to his/her needs, objectives and constraints, while preserving his/her health in a sustainable way;
To improve cognitive skills in order to facilitate decision making in a stressful or degraded situation;
To manage stress and fatigue;
To optimize physical and mental recovery; and
To improve team cohesion by fostering interpersonal relationships.
- Phase 3: After Deployment:
As an integration phase to help the individual to prevent stress-related disorders, to follow up, and to complete the recovery in order to be prepared both physically and mentally for a subsequent deployment.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We are looking for solutions on how to prepare individuals to be better able to maintain or even increase their effectiveness in critical situations (for example, through energy regulation, motivation and re-motivation, accelerated adaptation to a new stressful situation, optimized physical and mental recovery, and improved team cohesion).
We are seeking to develop a toolbox in which the NATO nations can find the elements that will constitute, or contribute to their national programs. This toolbox must be interoperable in order to allow deployment in operations of common capabilities, but also adaptable to the cultural and social particularities of the different Alliance nations.
All the tools and techniques that could increase the field of mental resiliency, including those using the latest technology, may potentially be included in this program.