78th Psychological Well being Clinic helps Airmen take care of battles of the thoughts > Robins Air Drive Base > Article Show

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga .–

Mental health matters.

It is a critical part of any aviator’s medical readiness.

“Sometimes the battles that the airmen are grappling with are not just on the ground or in the air, but in their heads,” said Capt. Donnell Clark, 78th Mental Health Clinic Psychiatric Nurse. “It is part of the holistic care of body, mind and soul. The mind is often neglected. You can’t see mental pain the way you can see physical injuries. “

Clark’s daily mission is to treat an airman’s “invisible injuries” which he describes as “invisible injuries”.

“As a young aviator, I saw people suffer in silence and that motivated me to pursue this career path,” he added. “We were never advised to get mentally ill when you were having problems.

“There was a reason certain Airmen kept getting into fights or drinking too much, but they never tried to deal with it,” continued Clark.

Clark believes that an old negative stigma surrounding mental health care is keeping some people in bondage.

“Unfortunately, there is this mindset that an airman could lose his job, his security check, or even be kicked out of the military for psychological treatment, and that is far from the truth.”

There are many ways to help at Robins.

The Mental Health Clinic is divided into three flights: Mental Health, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, and the Robins Family Advocacy Program.

“Mental health normalization is the biggest hurdle we face and the most important thing we need to do,” said Staff Sgt. Austin Dorsey, sergeant at the mental health clinic responsible for ADAPT.

ADAPT is an outpatient program that provides services to active duty, watch and reserve members on active command.

“We see some people once a month and some weekly,” he added. “Our services are confidential. I’ve spoken to Master Sergeants, Chiefs, and Seniors who have come over the course of their careers and they have still achieved their rank and are still on duty. “

Dorsey said that if left untreated, mental health problems can get out of hand for a flier, personally and professionally, and lead to bigger problems.

“If an aviator finds himself in a state of unable to concentrate, depressed, or impaired, it could negatively affect the Air Force and put his career at risk,” said Dorsey. “However, being proactive and getting help will keep a person in the military as steps are taken to stay on track.”

“It’s very rewarding when I have a breakthrough with a patient and get them where they need to be,” he continued. “Our care is like everything else. If you’ve broken your leg, you won’t kick in. You have to give yourself time to heal. Mental health is the same way; You can’t see these wounds. Our mission is to keep them on their mission. “

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