DVIDS – Information – Addressing the Stigma of Psychological Well being at NMRTC Bremerton

With June, dubbed “Men’s Health Month” by the Military Health System, it is hoped that most men who habitually focus on their physical rather than mental health will at least understand the importance of mental and emotional health Have taken wellbeing into account.

The Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) notes that there is a stigma among men for even considering mental health care.

Despite serving in various land, sea, underwater, and air environments where long-term deployments, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a host of other problems directly affect Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, reluctance to openly address the mental health of individuals may occur consider, communicate and confront.

Yet mental health experts like Lt. Caitlin Sleight of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton are making a difference in the individual and collective mental health of service members and their families.

For Sleight, clinical psychologist, mental health division officer and Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Psychology Liaison for the mental health division of NMRTC Bremerton, mental health is a critical cognitive component to the general health and well-being of all.

“Taking care of our behavioral health is an important aspect of general health, as this is the basis for soldiers’ resilience and resilience. Many people confuse mental health with the absence of negative emotions. Indeed, it means investing the energy to formulate a thorough understanding of the etiology [origin] our own emotional, physical, psychological and social interrelationships in order to then adapt to adversity. As a war fighter, our greatest strengths are our ability to regulate, modulate and tolerate unique stressors in an operational environment, ”said Sleight.

The operating environment has been completely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which added another layer of mental health.

“As a Navy clinical psychologist, we have collectively faced worldwide isolation, death, rapid change and global uncertainty of the future amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our sailors were isolated aboard ships for months, isolated from families, friends, and sometimes unable to go home to officially mourn the loss of a loved one due to travel restrictions. As a clinical psychologist during a pandemic or not, our role plays an essential role in facilitating the processing of complex emotions that can result from grief, death and dying, “said Sleight.

Statistical evidence also shows that the pandemic has irritated men’s mental health more than women, especially when it comes to added stress and anxiety, financial concerns, and increased alcohol consumption. Dealing with such problems and reluctance to share them are tasks that Sleight attentively supports and focuses in her role as a clinical psychologist.

But what exactly is mental health stigma?

According to the NMCPHC, stigma is reluctance to share problems and seek support from friends, family, co-workers, and help from auxiliaries such as pastors, medical staff, counselors and mental health professionals such as Lt. Sleight to solicit.

There are potential negative effects from stigma. Stigma can lead to negative beliefs that someone seeking help is weak and that instead they should be strong, in control, and able to cope with anything. Other problematic negative beliefs are that they will lose their job, career, safety clearance, and reputation, or that they will be labeled, stereotyped, ostracized, and discriminated against by others for seeking psychological support.

“When addressing the stigma of men seeking help, one has to understand what the underlying stigma is. It’s the negative attitudes or beliefs that men with behavioral problems are somehow weaker or have a weaker character, ”explained Sleight. “Maintaining this stigma in Western culture and concepts of masculinity is totally contraindicated and detrimental to the resilience and resilience of warriors. It can leave a disproportionate number of men ashamed of what they are experiencing, discriminating against others, and avoiding services that can alleviate symptoms and improve functioning. “

Sleight cites that she has been actively involved in combating the mental health stigma by working with the Force Preservation Council of the Naval Base Kitsap Marine Corps Security Force Battalion.

“Through this collaboration with MCSFBn leadership, we are working to normalize the search for mental health care through open and honest communication, psychoeducation and frequent collaboration between Navy Medicine clinical psychologists, senior executives and independent paramedics,” Sleight said.

Sleight’s work is in line with the Navy surgeon’s overall priority for operational readiness and the core mission of ensuring the medical readiness of the armed forces. Your duty directly contributes to this standard.

“Psychological readiness to maintain operational readiness is essential. My job as a Navy Psychologist is to target treatment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level to both prevent disease and facilitate recovery so that our sailors and Marines are prepared for adversity and stressors, or after a time of treatment, ”emphasized Sleight.

Recording date: 04/07/2021
Release Date: 04/07/2021 11:31 AM
Story ID: 400348
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