News: Handling stress while deployed
Story by Spc. Maurice Galloway
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq — "The biggest misconception about coming to the combat stress clinic is that it will harm your career, but seeking help for oneself is actually encouraged by leadership," said Air Force Maj. Spring Myers, 732nd Expeditionary Support Squadron, Combat Stress Clinic, officer in charge and native of Goldsboro, N.C.
Deployed service members face the challenge of living in a dangerous environment away from their family for long periods and some have seen things that have left emotional scars on them that are not easy to brush off.
"It's important to realize that things affect people differently. The person has to first acknowledge it's normal to experience these feelings," Myers said.
Each deployed unit has a behavioral health advocate that helps service members experiencing stress in a combat zone.
The combat stress clinic is not only for people who have combat related traumatic experiences. There are different types of stress that affect deployed service members.
"Some people feel that they don't need to go to the combat stress clinic because they don't have combat-related stressors. A substantial portion of behavioral health appointments are for issues related to family, marital or career concerns," said Capt. Susan Mosier, HHB, 17th Fires Brigade surgeon.
Myers and the Combat Stress Clinic staff travel regularly to outlying bases to provide help to those in need of behavioral health services.
Mosier said that because stress can lead to significant health concerns such as high blood pressure and gastrointestinal issues, addressing behavioral health concerns is a priority among medical providers.