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    Raising mental health awareness to end stigma

    Raising mental health awareness to end stigma

    Photo By Marcy Sanchez | Maj. Justin Orton, clinical psychologist, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, pins a...... read more read more



    Story by Marcy Sanchez  

    William Beaumont Army Medical Center

    Fort Bliss, TEXAS - An estimated 50 percent of all Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. Throughout May, mental health awareness is raised to recognize trauma and the impact it can have on physical, emotional and mental well-being.

    Service members are not immune, with an estimated 15 percent of Soldiers having a behavioral health diagnosis in 2017, an ailment which also affects many military spouses and children.

    In an effort to cease the stigma associated with mental health, William Beaumont Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health is proactively engaging the Fort Bliss community with a series of lunch and learn classes discussing varying topics from sleeping habits to conflict resolution, at WBAMC’s Clinical Assembly Room, throughout the month of May. In addition, the department’s Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services kicked off the month with events at local schools, recognizing National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day which is observed May 10.

    “During the events, we are focused on connecting those in need to information, services, and supports that can help someone struggling with mental health issues,” said Lashonda Bogan, outreach program coordinator, Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services. “This year’s Awareness Day theme for youth is 'Suicide Prevention: Strategies That Work' and will focus on the impact that suicide has on children, youth, young adults, families, and communities.”

    Wellness walks, information booths and green ribbons took place at local schools. Teachers were also involved with information to discuss with parents.

    “(Lunch and learn series) is focused on decreasing stress and psychological distress, enhanced mental and functioning, increase emotion regulation and self-control,” said Bogan. “These classes are open to civilians, veterans, employees, military family members and service members.”

    To combat behavioral health issues in local units, the U.S. Army implemented the embedded behavioral health model, an early treatment and intervention model of care that promotes Soldier readiness by providing Soldiers care in close proximity to their work areas. Research studies have demonstrated the use of the EBH model results in statistically significant improvements in mission readiness, increased outpatient BR care and leader-provided collaboration, and decreased need for acute inpatient psychiatric care.

    “Mental Health Awareness Month is the time for our organization to educate and inform our Fort Bliss community on the importance of enhancing the quality of life and improving overall well-being,” said Lt. Col. Liquori Etheridge, deputy chief, Department of Behavioral Health, WBAMC. “Mental Health Services are readily available on Fort Bliss for Soldiers and Family members. We strive to ensure that our Soldiers and families are ‘ready and resilient’.”



    Date Taken: 05.10.2019
    Date Posted: 05.23.2019 13:28
    Story ID: 323665
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

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