Fairchild Air Force Base Mental Health department decreased wait time to 24 hours

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Megan Delaine
  • 92 Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Mental Health professionals assigned to the 92nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron implemented changes that offer patients group therapy opportunities and walk-in provider assistance.

The mental health department implemented the changes in 2021 to overcome manning shortfalls, and they ended up decreasing the patient wait times from over one month to 24 hours or less.

“Our goal is to treat you and get you back to your best life,” said Kaylene Hartt, a mental health provider assigned to the 92nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron.

“Manning has always been a challenge. Right now, we are 60 percent staffed and [manning remains] one of the biggest challenges [we are facing],” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Chang, a mental health technician assigned to the 92nd OMRS.

Despite their manning, the team now has a mental health provider available each day for walk-in appointments and offers several options for group therapy.

The mental health clinic also created six different group therapy options. The six groups are a unified protocol group, a gender affirming care group, an acceptance and commitment therapy group, a sleep group, a written exposure therapy group and a group for regulating emotions.

Chang added that the mental health clinic has also partnered with other agencies such as the military family life counselor and the chaplain to allow for a faster response time for those who need more one-on-one care.

“Working with the other agencies allows the mental health clinic to give care to as many people as possible,” explained Chang. “Getting people to where they want to be and helping others is how we get the stigma [around mental health] to end.”