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    I Am Navy Medicine – and Behavioral Health Tech – Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kevin Jiang

    I Am Navy Medicine – and Behavioral Health Tech – Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kevin Jiang

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kevin Jiang, behavioral health technician assigned to Navy...... read more read more

    There’s a sensible standard that Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kevin Jiang wants everyone to know when it comes to mental health.

    “You don’t have to wait until you have a problem to seek mental health,” said Jiang, a behavioral health technician assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton.

    With May designated as Mental Health Awareness Month by the Department of Defense, the role of BHTs like Jiang are crucial in helping to increase understanding of the importance of mental health and awareness.

    “A Navy behavioral health technician is a specialty within the corpsman rating that focuses on mental health and wellness of service members,” explained Jiang, a Los Angeles, California native, Temple City High School 2016 graduate and Grand Canyon University 2022 alumni. “Technicians are supervised under psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to provide the best level of care for service members.”

    NMRTC Bremerton Mental Health department provides a wide array of outpatient behavioral health services, as evidenced in last year alone with individual psychotherapy, operational and readiness-related psychological evaluations, and Personnel Reliability Program personnel evaluations to Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard across 299 tenet commands in the Pacific Northwest and as far afield as Naval Air Station Lemoore. There was a high level of clinical involvement from Jiang and other behavioral health technicians, characterized by their engagement in 198 safety checks, 1,092 access-to-care appointments, and 130 group therapy sessions as well as individual patient follow-up care.

    “A Navy behavioral health technician is responsible for triage assessments, safety assessments, treatment planning, short term individual therapy, cofacilitation of group therapy and crisis intervention,” Jiang said.

    BHTs in the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program engaged in clinical logistics support, which included receipt and review of 307 Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor packages on behalf of service members from commands throughout the Pacific Northwest region, scheduling 318 screening appointments for those engaged with their command DAPA as self-referrals or command referrals, and coordinating appropriate level of care needs for 318 patients within the clinic or by way of clinical placement through case management.

    “BHTS are vital in providing quality mental health care to service members to improve effectiveness and individual quality of life,” noted Jiang.

    Military leaders have acknowledged that there’s [still] barriers in place for some to even consider seeking mental health. Jiang and his department help clear such hurdles for anyone seeking resources for treatment and support without fear of judgment or impact to their career or security clearance eligibility.

    One such readily available resource is the Mental Health department’s ‘Mental Health Office Hours,’ for active duty service members to drop-in any Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. for questions, consultations, connection to care, support, resources and information needs.

    “I think the Mental Health [Office] Hours are phenomenal in taking those first steps. It’s a safe space where you can talk and decide with the provider your next steps,” recommended Jiang, noting that as a whole, the mental health department does an excellent job in reaching people who want to engage in its services.

    “Treatment is [usually] self-initiated,” added Jiang. “Service members usually come to the clinic front desk to be scheduled or they can talk to a provider or independent duty corpsman in putting in a referral.”

    BHTs also take their specialty training on the road, supporting Navy fleet needs by deploying on surface ships as well as assisting several commands with Special Psychiatric Response Intervention (SPRINT) missions to provide short-term mental health support after traumatic events to lessen long-term psychiatric dysfunction and promote maximum psychological readiness.

    “Being a corpsman with a BHT rating allows me to be more thorough in providing medical care,” Jiang said. “I am a better listener and a better communicator. It is not only about service members being physically healthy but also psychologically resilient.”

    The Mental Health department mirrors the Defense Health Agency in encouraging resiliency by including a few daily routines which anyone can implement to help increase coping skills such as exercise, balanced nutrition, quality sleep, relaxation/meditation, goal setting and establishing social support connections. Jiang also advocates including a few easy steps which anyone can apply in the help of others.

    “One of the biggest tips I can give is to follow up with others. Regular check ins with individuals to see how they are doing and to offer support goes a long way,” said Jiang, also stressing for others to prioritize self-care, “and do things that bring you joy!”

    Jiang has been in Navy Medicine for five years and serves as his clinic referral manager. It was after completing his second year at University of California Riverside when he decided to enlist as a Navy hospital corpsman.

    “I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in psychology and wanted to do something new. My friend enlisted as a corpsman after he finished high school. I followed his footsteps. I always envisioned myself working in the medical field,” related Jiang. “Through the Navy, I have developed discipline, resilience and a sense of identity. I have also gained experience in collaborating with diverse individuals, which has improved my communication and problem-solving skills.”

    There have been intangible rewards from his efforts helping others in need.

    “The most gratifying aspect of my position is witnessing the progress and growth of patients throughout their treatment journey,” Jiang said.

    Although NMRTC Bremerton is Jiang’s only duty station, he did augment a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency deployment to Vietnam for a remains recovery mission at the end of 2023.

    “I provided medical support to my team and local Vietnamese workers,” shared Jiang. “I was glad I had the opportunity to work with my independent duty corpsman to provide medical support.”

    Yet despite his affinity with is current position, Jiang has always harbored dreams to be a physical therapist.

    Which means he’ll be able to treat body, as well as mind.

    When asked to sum up his experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Jiang replied, “My experience in Navy Medicine has been rewarding, shaping me to be skilled and resilient.”



    Date Taken: 05.20.2024
    Date Posted: 05.20.2024 15:46
    Story ID: 471767

    Web Views: 272
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