Mental Health keeps Airmen mission ready

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Team Fairchild’s 92nd Medical Group Mental Health Clinic is readily available to aid Airmen while they face the demands and stressors that accompany the commitment of service before self, from deployments during the holidays to packing boxes for permanent change of station moves.

The Mental Health Clinic’s mission is to influence healthy lifestyles within the base community by promoting positive relationships, providing treatment and preventing unhealthy behavior or mental status to ensure Airmen maintain mission readiness.

“Recognizing the heightened levels of challenges service members face, we offer a broad spectrum of resources,” said Dr. Daniel Rial, 92nd MDG Mental Health flight psychologist. “Airmen can find support within Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment, the Family Advocacy Program and the Mental Health Flight. Each offers support for specific aspects of overall mental health; all contribute to the primary mission of readiness.”

Mental health challenges are relatively common within civilian and military communities alike. Similarly, not addressing these challenges may jeopardize a person’s health and career if not prevented or treated early.

“The resources available at the clinic are often perceived as being for the most severe cases of post-traumatic stress, alcoholism or domestic violence. However, these are the minority of issues addressed in our facility,” said Maj. Jeffrey Smith, 92nd MDG Mental Health Flight commander. “More often we see built-up stress, anxiety and relational conflict that, if left unresolved, have a significant impact on the overall health of an individual.”

Contrary to the misconception that seeking help will have a negative impact on one’s military career, nearly 95 percent of all personnel who receive mental health services experience no career impact, Smith added.

To best serve the diverse culture within the military, support is available to Airmen through various agencies and locations on base, to include the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, Military Family Life Counselors, the base chapel and the Behavioral Health Optimization Program.

“We are here to help you,” Smith said. “The core of social work is promoting positive change in individuals, families and communities. Being a clinical social worker in the military offers a wonderful opportunity to assist and serve those who are serving their country as they and their families often face unique pressures in adapting to military life. We promote positive changes in individuals, families and communities through the 24/7 availability of our highly educated team and resources.”

Fairchild’s helping services and programs are well-versed in each other’s capabilities, allowing Airmen to be referred to who will be the best fit for their unique situation.

For more information on resources and support services, contact the Mental Health Clinic at (509) 247-2731.