Health & Safety

May 3, 2012

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Commentary by Roselyn Leyva
AFRC Psychological Health Advocacy Outreach Specialist- Western Region
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AFRC Psychological Health Advocacy Outreach Specialist- Western Region — Mental health plays an essential role in shaping one’s life. In short, a person free of excessive anxiety, stress and worry is more capable to live life at its fullest. A mentally fit person maintains a positive self-image and interacts well with co-workers, family and friends. With this in mind, the Air Force Reserve Command created the Psychological Health Advocacy Program (PHAP) to assist reservists and their families obtain the support they need to maintain their emotional well-being. The PHAP consists of three regional offices located at Dobbins ARB, GA; Travis AFB, CA; and Wright Patterson AFB, OH and provide services throughout the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. Each office consists of a case facilitator, two outreach specialists and an administrative specialist who locate resources to assist reservists and their family members with a variety of life stressors. Additionally, PHAP personnel can assist commanders and reserve medical unit personnel when members need mental health services. The PHAP seeks to create a culture of support for psychological health in which prevention and resiliency are part of normal life.

Historically, civilians and military members have not sought assistance with mental health concerns due to pervasive stigma surrounding mental health issues. “In fact, negative career consequences for seeking mental health services are fairly uncommon,” says Col. Scott Marrs, PhD, USAF, Mental Health Division. A 2006 study, published in Military Medicine (Vol. 171, No. 11), found that only 3 percent of people who referred themselves for mental health treatment had a negative career impact, as compared with 39 percent of people who were referred by their commanders. “Seeking mental health care doesn’t harm your career,” says Marrs. “It’s not being able to do your job because of personal issues that can harm your career.”

Good mental health is an essential element for the success of the reservist’s mission. If you or someone in your family needs assistance, PHAP personnel are ready to help. PHAP services are free of charge and only a phone call away. For more information, please contact any of the below personnel:
 
Karen Orcutt, RN, Case Facilitator

Email: karen.orcutt.1.ctr@us.af.mil

Office: (707) 424-2704

Cell: (484) 684-9711
 
Suzy Phillips, Outreach Specialist

Email: susan.persechinophillips.2.ctr@us.af.mil

Office: (707) 424-8189

Cell: (484) 684-9713
 
Roselyn Lacsamana-Leyva, Outreach Specialist

Email: Maria_roselyn.lacsamana-_leyva.ctr@us.af.mil

Office: (707) 424-8896

Cell: (484) 684-9712




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

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