News: Lancers stay mentally fit
Story by Sgt. Ryan Hohman
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Medical professionals with the Madigan Embedded Behavioral Health Clinic stand ready to provide treatment to the soldiers with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division by focusing on re-integration, stabilization and resiliency.
“The intention [of the embedded behavioral health clinic] is to have, as much as possible, a one-stop shop for the behavioral health needs of the soldiers here with 2nd Brigade,” said Dr. Devin Marsh, who serves as the EBH team lead.
The EBH clinic, which is located at building 11771 on the corner of C Street and 12th Street, is positioned within the Lancer Brigade footprint, making it more convenient for soldiers to receive the help they need.
“We are not hard to find and not hard to get to,” said Mary Beth Anderson, who serves as a clinical social worker with the EBH clinic. “You don’t have to spend a half-an-hour trying to get onto the main post, find a parking lot, navigate through the hospital, we are right here part of [the soldier's life].”
The location allows for soldiers to have easy access to behavioral health care professionals.
“Soldiers don’t need an appointment,” said Marsh. “They are able to walk-in and talk to somebody, and if there is a significant problem we can extend that encounter to take care of the soldier,” said Marsh.
The EBH clinic offers both individual and group counseling for soldiers. EBH services focus on outreach, consultation, evaluation and treatment.
“The goal of the EBH team is to work close enough with the soldiers and the command so we can see trends and engage in preventive work to address those issues,” said Anderson.
Some of the primary issues the EBH clinic see are soldiers who need help with adjustments from deployments, life stressors and problems with sleep and relationships, said Anderson.
Anderson said she works with soldiers to develop a plan by using both individual and group sessions to help them overcome their issues.
By embedding with the Lancer Brigade, the medical professionals are able to better understand what the soldiers may be going through, and to notice trends of things that are bothering soldiers.
If the counselors notice an issue that is bothering multiple soldiers they will form a counseling group so the soldiers can better address their issues, said Marsh.
Unlike other behavioral health clinics, the EBH clinic offers a personal connection between the medical professionals and the Lancer Brigade leadership.
“One of the things about embedded behavioral health that is different, is we know our commanders and they know us by name,” said Marsh. “Most of them have my cell phone number.”
The close relationship between the Lancer Brigade and the EBH team has shifted what was once a negative view on seeking behavioral health care.
“What I have seen when I sit down with either soldiers or the command is understanding rather than judgment,” said Anderson.