News: Warrior Check-Up provides early intervention
Story by Sgt. Memory Strickland
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Soldiers train to be ready for any mission, but they must take care of themselves to stay prepared. When facing problems with drugs and alcohol, soldiers at JBLM can reach out to Warrior Check-Up, a study by the University of Washington that provides confidential counseling.
“Warrior Check-Up provides a brief intervention for soldiers who are exploring options for change,” said Thomas Walton, the project’s director.
Soldiers of any rank or position have the opportunity to anonymously seek help before they affect their careers.
Over a six month period, soldiers participate in five private phone calls with the university’s School of Social Work. Counselors ask soldiers about their struggles with substance abuse and provide soldiers “personal” feedback, said Walton.
“The program works as an early detection service. It’s the first stop,” said Dr. Jolee Darnell, manager of the Army Substance Abuse Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Darnell said counselors collect data from participants, which they will use to determine the impact of early intervention.
“I’m hopeful that it is effective,” Walton said. “We have already got positive feedback from soldiers who participated.”
So far, all soldiers who have enrolled in the program have finished -- which Darnell said is a sign the program helps.
Warrior Check-Up not only provides free counseling, but also pays participants up to $175 depending on how long they are enrolled. Those interested in the study can call 1-888-685-DUTY for more information.