Health & Safety

March 22, 2013

MHC here to help Airmen

The mental health clinic is not what it seems to be. It’s not a place to be afraid of, but a place for Airmen and their families to become mentally healthy.

The MHC has two roles: helping patients entering the clinic and educating Airmen on ways to handle stress and more, said Staff Sgt. Brett Chapman, 56th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician.

Capt. Amber Rodgers, 56th MDOS licensed clinical social worker, said the MHC provides individual therapy, marital therapy, psychotropic medication management, psycho-educational groups concerning relationships, anger management, stress management and depression, anxiety and psychological testing.

People are seen in the clinic for various reasons.

“There isn’t a specific type of person that we see,” Rodgers said. “You can be seen for work-related stress, relationship issues, sadness, worry, deployment related issues, adjusting to different life changes such as being new to the Air Force, taking on new responsibilities in your job or retiring from the Air Force. These are just a few. In general, we are a place to come if you’ve noticed a change in yourself or you want to make changes in your life.”

Although the MHC has a multitude of services available to Luke Airmen, not everyone uses them because of some misconceptions.

“Unfortunately, there is a negative stigma with mental health,” Chapman said. “People typically worry about their record getting tarnished and getting kicked out of the Air Force, but what they don’t know is we are here to help them, not get them in trouble.”

In addition, all MHC records are kept separate from outpatient records unless authorized by the patient to release, Rodgers said.

“At MHC we take confidentiality seriously and we also can’t confirm or deny if certain persons are our patients,” Chapman said.

To further educate Thunderbolts, the clinic has an outreach education program.

“We go out and address commander’s calls, first term airmen courses and professional enhancement courses speaking of ways to manage stress, suicide awareness, alcohol education and drug abuse prevention,” Chapman said. “We do these briefings in order to get out there and let people know we aren’t bad and that we are here for them.”

MHC ensures Airmen readiness by caring for the mental wellness of its clients.

“MHC is a part of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness,” Rodgers said. “We help keep our Airmen working and completing the mission to Fly, Fight, and Win.”

The clinic is available for walk-ins Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call central appointments at (623) 856-2273.




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