Blended courage: Moral and psychological courage elements in mental health treatment seeking by active duty military personnel

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Blended courage: Moral and psychological courage elements in mental health treatment seeking by active duty military personnel

We propose that seeking mental health care in an environment with heightened stigma may combine elements of both psychological and moral courage. Interviews of 32 active duty US Army personnel about their process of seeking current mental health care were analyzed for themes of voluntary action personal risk and noble or worthwhile goals (benefits). Risks and benefits were divided into internal risks and benefits characteristic of psychological courage; and external risks and benefits characteristic of moral courage. Concerns about external risks were themes in all narratives while concerns about internal risks were themes in only about half of narratives. Both internal and external benefits of treatment were themes in approximately three-quarters of the narratives whereas doubts about internal (but not external) benefits were also expressed at a similar rate. Thus participants described an act of blended courage with social risks of moral courage taken for wellness goals of psychological courage.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2013

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