Background and Aim: Military staff are exposed to high levels of stress, and as such, and their mental health has long been an area of focus. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare mental health promotion programs and strategies used in American, British and Russian military organizations, to those used in Iranian military organizations.
Methods: This study was a systematic review that included all studies published in journal articles and books, in English and Persian, that were related to mental health programs in military organizations of the USA, Britain, Russia and Iran, from 1980 (1359 AH) to 2015 (1394 AH). A total of 154 articles were identified from 13 websites, and 137 were included in the study. After the data collection, programs and strategies of mental health promotion used in US, UK, Russia and Iran's Military Organizations were reviewed. Results were also classified on the basis of pre-determined framework.
Results: The most important mental health promotion programs in American military organizations were: the army study to assess risk and resilience in Service members (Army STARRS), the Stigma mental health program, promotion of psychological resilience, the Mental Health Liaison Program, Stress management training for military trainees, Combat and operational stress control, and the Comprehensive Soldier and family Fitness Program. British programs and strategies for Mental Health with the highest importance included the Trauma risk management (TRiM), Battle mind training, Third-location decompression, community mental health for veterans, mental health support and the Medical Assessment Program. In Russia the most important programs used were military humanitarian programs, educational methods as a source of psychological support for soldiers, and social works in solving social problems of military personnel were. Iran's military organizations had two major mental health promotion programs, the Imam Reza plan and the adviser police.
Conclusion: Mental Health Programs and Strategies in Iranian military organizations are, in general, in line with American, British and Russian programs. But regarding operational planning, mental health programs in Iranian military organizations are generally ambiguous, and lack targeted planning. Mental health programs in American and British military forces are largely research-based and needs-based. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the weaknesses in Iran's military organizations’ mental health programs and to take action to promote them.