With the unique challenges that the busy Air Force lifestyle presents to Airmen and family members, some can easily be overcome by stress. However, here at Luke Air Force Base there are resources available to help Airmen alleviate stress. The mental health clinic is one.
Airmen may have once been hesitant to visit mental health, but the tide is turning, according to Tech. Sgt. Meshawn Guera, 56th Medical Operations Squadron Behavioral Health Flight chief.
“The old stigma has deterred people in the past from visiting the mental health clinic,” she said. “But, that’s changing since there are more agencies than just mental health to assist Airmen. And, Airmen need to know that talking to us won’t get them in trouble.”
The mental health clinic utilizes various resources to help Airmen.
“One of the things we use to determine if someone is stressed is the four dimensions of wellness,” Guevara said. “It consists of emotional, physical, spiritual and social wellness. When someone comes to us with an issue, we see if maybe one of the four dimensions of wellness needs more attention from the individual.”
“For example, if someone hasn’t been sleeping well or isn’t eating right, then obviously their physical wellness is in question, so we work with the individual to see what else could be causing them to feel this way,” Guevara said. “All of the cases in the mental health clinic deal with some level of stress.”
There are also methods one can try before visiting mental health.
“Airmen should educate themselves on ways to reduce stress because it might help,” Guevara said. “There are many programs to help Airmen along with mental health and include family advocacy, chaplains, and the military family life consultants.”
Everyone deals with stress, and it is important to know the means available to deal with it.
“The biggest issues tend to be about money, job security, work life and home life,” said Airman 1st Class Jasmine Mitchell, 56th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician. “The number of people we see tends to increase with cutbacks, around the holidays and when permanent change of station moves or deployments come up. The best way to help yourself is to have a plan and to know you aren’t alone. You have family, friends and resources to help you get through whatever you’re dealing with.”
For more information or to speak to someone, the mental health clinic is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.