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    Only Human - IRT Clinical Psychologist Emphasizes Importance of Mental Health

    Only Human - IRT Clinical Psychologist Emphasizes Importance of Mental Health

    Photo By Senior Airman Sarah McClanahan | Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. James McClelland, a clinical psychologist for the DAEOC...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Sarah McClanahan 

    175th WG - Maryland Air National Guard

    From June 14 through June 22, military personnel are hosting a no-cost healthcare clinic for the local community inside Ballard Memorial High School in Barlow, Ky. A variety of medical services are being provided, including physical exams, glasses prescriptions, dental extractions, and a service that many may not be expecting will be provided - psychological care.
    Navy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. James McClelland is a clinical psychologist who is providing services to the community during this Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission, called DAEOC Tri-State IRT 2019.
    “Folks will come in with a lot of different issues,” said McClelland. “Depression, anxiety. They may come in with family or financial stress and may really need to just talk about it. Additionally, I help connect them with resources in the community, such as mental health providers.”
    McClelland said most people assume that medicinal care is simply physical. However, 40 percent of all visits to a primary care setting involve some degree of psychiatric or psychological concern.
    The daily stresses of work and life can take their toll on the mental health of anyone. To McClelland, one of the ways he sees this is in how people view themselves.
    “As people, we tend to blame ourselves,” said McClelland. “A lot of folks who come into [my office] say things like ‘I shouldn’t feel this way,’ ‘I don’t know why I feel this way’ and start to beat themselves up.”
    With 19 years of experience, McClelland said the main thing that needs to be remembered is “[We] are only human.” We are not perfect and we live in an imperfect world.
    “Just being human, we will always experience things like anxiety or times when we are depressed,” said McClelland. “Bad things happen in life and there is nothing you can do about them. We respond like anyone would.”
    While McClelland’s primary concern is the patients of the DAEOC Tri-State IRT clinic, he is also offering his counseling to the service members working the clinic.
    Military members are human too and experience anxiety, stress, and depression, said McClelland. Compassion fatigue is a serious issue experienced by many medical professionals, including those in the military.
    “Mental health is extremely important in the mobile hospital environment because it supports everything we do,” said McClelland. “Medicine is all about psychology. Psychology is interwoven into every face of medicine.”
    Without the addition of mental health services, McClelland said, “it would be a lot harder for other providers to do their job because they aren’t equipped to handle the psychological or emotional piece.”
    Through the psychological care McClelland offers, patients are able to more efficiently approach their medicinal issues. Whether these patients come from a civilian or military background, taking care of both their physical and psychological health will keep them healthy and prepared to face the challenges they may come across.



    Date Taken: 06.15.2019
    Date Posted: 06.17.2019 09:01
    Story ID: 327843
    Location: BARLOW, KY, US 

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