Mentally healthy: Transform your life by renewing your mind

The digital art piece was created Jan. 19, 2022 to bring awareness to the mental health resources available to the service members, families, and civilians of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys.
The digital art piece was created Jan. 19, 2022 to bring awareness to the mental health resources available to the service members, families, and civilians of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys.

Mentally healthy: Transform your life by renewing your mind

by Sgt. Courtney Davis
USAG Humphreys

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, along with military communities around the world, continues to cope with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the daily demands of work and home life. Three mental health programs on Camp Humphreys recently shared their current and upcoming resources and prevention programs that can help Humphreys community members keep a healthy state of mind, because stress is inevitable and asking for help keeps you strong.

“Mental health is considered a medical need like going to the dentist. If you had a toothache, would you not go to the dentist right away? Seek medical treatment and take care of the problem? Mental health needs are just a normal part of life. We may encounter stress or frustration or crisis. We can’t control how the stressors enter our life, but we can change how we look at asking for help,” said Olivia Bourke, a Family Advocacy Program specialist with the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Army Community Service office.

On Camp Humphreys, there are programs and resources to help families, service members, civilians, and retirees overcome their stressors to keep them in the best state of mind. Military and Family Life Counselors are a great way to start. MFLCs are licensed social workers and therapists who provide individual and group sessions for service members and their families.

“The great thing about having those MFLCs available is you can come into ACS and see anyone of our rotational providers and they won’t document in your medical records, so there is a bit of confidentiality,” said Bourke, a Louisville, Kentucky, native. “I like to tell folks if you just need to talk to someone that is a great place to start.”

In addition to rotational MFLCs, many units on Camp Humphreys have an embedded MFLC who specifically provides support to them, Bourke added. The MFLC roster is readily available at ACS as well as on the USAG Humphreys ACS Facebook page.

Maybe communicating your feelings and thoughts is difficult to do, so resources like the Family Advocacy Program can provide you with the tools to unclutter your mind and release your thoughts in a healthy manner.

“We really work to build up families with the tools for parenting or with couples communication or trying to understand how to better communicate with their partner or with their friends, so those are pretty good resources our team provides,” said Bourke. “Within the FAP, we want to build strong families to help our Soldiers – whether they are married or single – sort of build up those prevention tools so they can deal with their stress or what’s going on with their lives in a healthy way.”

When you need to take a knee and receive help beyond what an MFLC, chaplain, or the FAP can do, you can receive a referral from your counselor or you can refer yourself to the behavioral health clinic. Located at Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital, the clinic provides inpatient and outpatient care for service members, civilians, families, and retirees.

“Our inpatient services are going to be available to everyone: GS employees, civilian contractors, command and non-command sponsored dependents, and our retirees. They can also receive emergent behavioral health services through the ER, where behavioral health providers are on call 24 hours a day,” said Maj. Cassandra Webb, deputy installation director of psychological health with 65th Medical Brigade.

“In addition, we are only able to see command sponsored and active duty service members for ongoing therapy on the outpatient side,” continued Webb, a Jackson, Mississippi, native. “We can incorporate acute services for non-command sponsored and retirees. We just won’t be able to follow-up with them regularly. Once we stabilize them for the acute services, we can then turn around and direct them towards host nation resources that are available.”

Behavioral health’s intensive outpatient program will be starting Feb. 7 for service members who need more frequent sessions.

“We will be transitioning to five days a week for four weeks. We will provide intense behavioral health treatment for Soldiers that require more than once a week sessions. Access to this service normally comes from their primary treating provider,” said Lt. Col. Shamecca Scott, the installation director of psychological health with 65th Medical Brigade and a Baltimore, Maryland, native. “They are referred to this service. Again, the services that are offered are more so like emotional regulation, learning, adapting coping skills, and stress management, and it’s done in a group setting.”

Civilian employees can go to the Employee Assistance Program for non-clinical counseling and prevention programs. According to Bourke, this program falls under Camp Humphreys’ Army Substance Abuse Program. EAP also helps civilians navigate the resources available to them in the surrounding Korean community.

“Specific to civilian employees, I will always tell people that a great place to start is EAP,” said Bourke. “They are just a really great resource for everything.”

Maj. Charles Williams, the chief behavioral health officer assigned to 65th Medical Brigade clinical operations, added that retirees can contact the Military OneSource Seoul counseling center, You & Me Psychological and Consultation Services, and Doctor on Demand for behavioral health assistance.

Behavioral health professionals agree, leadership can have a large impact on their subordinates by being transparent about their own struggles. By sharing their stories, leaders can encourage others to seek help and reduce the stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment.

“One of the ways to break the stigma is for seniors to be honest about their own behavioral health issues. I find that is most effective. When commanders are preaching that it’s okay if you need to take that knee and get the help, ‘we will advocate for you,’ it helps to reduce stigma,” said Williams, a Pompano, Florida, native. “It’s a constant battle to inform people that when you come to behavioral health you are acting strong because it takes someone with great strength to admit ‘I can’t do it all myself.’”

There are resources out there ready to help, and these garrison organizations want the community to know how to find them.

“We have a segment on AFN where we do mental health Mondays, which is once a month. Maj. Williams did this last time where we are promoting and informing the community about behavioral health services. We are also involved with MFLCs, as well, and so that is also published on the ACS Facebook page,” said Scott. “We have resources published in the ISOFAC for those Soldiers that have been diagnosed with COVID who are currently isolated. We have resources that are available in the COVAX center and the reception center for the individuals who are PCSing to Camp Humphreys, so that way they can be aware of behavioral health resources that are on post.”

Listed below are some of the resources available to the Humphreys community.
● Family Advocacy Program at DSN: 737-5799
● Military and Family Life Counselor list on Facebook: USAG Humphreys ACS
● Behavioral Health Resources:
○ 2nd Division Sustainment Brigade and rotational units under 2ID Warrior Behavioral Health Clinic at DSN 737-5177
○ 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade and 1st Signal Brigade Jenkins Behavioral Health Clinic DSN 737-5791
○ All other service members and command sponsored dependents Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital DSN 737-5668/5844
● Employee Assistance Program at DSN 755-1086
● Unit Ministry Teams on call: 010-9496-7445
● Crisis Response: On post DSN 911 or cell 031-690-7911; off post 119
● Korea-Wide Suicide Crisis Lifeline (USFK) DSN 118 or cell 080-8555-118
● Suicide Hotline (Military and Veteran): 050-337-4673 (press 1), 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)
● Crisis Online Chat:
● Medical emergencies: Emergency Room at BDAACH, building 3030
● Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy Helpline at DSN 153 or cell 050-3364-5997
● Financial Readiness Program – Army Emergency Relief at DSN 757-2363
● Employment Readiness Program at DSN 757-2363

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