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    Mental Health Month Recap



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano 

    Naval Medical Center San Diego

    SAN DIEGO – Throughout the month of May, NMCSD continued to provide mental health services to its beneficiaries.

    Mental Health Awareness Month takes place in May and focuses on providing guidance and resources for mental health. Through out May 2020, NMCSD’s Mental Health Clinic sent out Sailors to help service members and their families cope with challenges throughout the U.S. and abroad.

    On May 29, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin Shaw, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Terrance Stevens, were deployed along with a Mental Health Team onto the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH19) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles. During the mission, Shaw and Terrence helped coordinate and lead the Stress Mitigation and Resiliency Training (SMART) classes for the ship’s crew. The courses focused on coping and problem solving skills, such as strengthening resilience, stress management techniques and improving interpersonal communication.

    “A majority of Sailors we saw at the classes were service members who deployed for their first time away from home and their parent commands,” said Stevens. “We provided an outlet and coping strategies for Sailors to allow them to make better and mindful decisions.”

    Another group of NMCSD’s Mental Health Clinic was assigned to Guam as the Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team (SPRINT) to provide mental health support and resources to Sailors assigned to other ships and units throughout the U.S. Navy at locations far and near.

    “The mission of the SPRINT task force was to establish and support Sailors affected by quarantine or dealing with personal difficulties via telephone,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Anthony Nazario, SPRINT leading petty officer, describing a recent mission he supported. “This was the first time a situation like this ever occurred. I felt we had a good presence during our mission and our team was satisfied with the end results when the Sailors were ready to return and operate back on the ship.”

    In San Diego, Mental Health Operational Outreach Division (MHOOD) clinic, located in the Naval Station San Diego Navy Exchange and commissary complex, continued to operate and function much like an urgent care clinic for mental health, allowing any service member to call for a 30 to 45 minute assessment and referral to appropriate care, such as anger management, and marital and spiritual counseling.

    “We are providing the same basic care over the phone as if it was in person,” said Shaw, assigned to the MHOOD clinic. “The technicians here in the clinic will gather important information, perform a safety assessment then forward the proceedings over to a medical professional along with a response if needed.”

    These are only some of the operations the medical professionals at the NMCSD accomplished during Mental Health Awareness Month, while staying committed to help commands train Sailors to keep themselves safe and engaged as they continue to support their command’s mission serving within the United States, overseas, onboard ships or deployed. To contact the MHOOD clinic, call (619) 767-6127 or (619) 556-2463.

    NMCSD’s mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality healthcare services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training, and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active duty military personnel, civilians, and contractors in Southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.
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    Date Taken: 05.29.2020
    Date Posted: 06.04.2020 12:30
    Story ID: 371117
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

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