Back to Top Skip to main content

Air Force mental health team provides for deployed troops

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town. U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group Mental Health Clinic non-commissioned officer in charge, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town, July 27, 2020, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The DMH conducts battlefield circulations or unit visits three times a week, by request from a specific unit or through the DMH’s determination and observations that a unit is needing additional support. (Photo credit Air Force Tech Sgt. Michael Battle)

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus

To combat the stressors of the novel coronavirus and improve the overall well-being of service members of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, helping agencies assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing stood up the Disaster Mental Health team in accordance with a Department of Defense mandate.

Activated in mid-April in response to COVID-19, the DMH is led by the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group’s Mental Health Clinic in partnership with the wing’s Chaplain Corps and Marriage and Family Life counselors to provide support and assistance to service members during and after major stressors that affect the base such as COVID-19.

“Most individuals respond to challenging life events without significant negative consequences,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Darren Duncan, 379th AEW wing chaplain. “Nonetheless, while in garrison and in traditional battle roles, Airmen may encounter several types of incidents putting them at risk for the full spectrum of stress reactions ranging from minor stress reactions to more severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Disaster Mental Health is a method to proactively respond to these incidents and minimize the likelihood of longstanding or debilitating stress reactions.”

As part of the standup, the DMH team stood up seven walk-in clinics across the installation to provide same-day services within various locations on the Blatchford-Preston Complex, Coalition Compound, and the operations sides of the base.

“The intent was to meet members closer to their duty locations, reduce barriers to care and provide undocumented meetings to support the increased stress and uncertainty of navigating a COVID-19 environment,” said Air Force Capt. Teresa Thompson, 379th EMDG Mental Health Clinic officer in charge.

The DMH conducts battlefield circulations or unit visits three times a week, by request from a specific unit or through the DMH’s determination and observations that a unit is needing additional support.

According to Duncan, initiatives like the DMH are even more important during times such as the pandemic the world is currently experiencing.

“The DMH has been more than important during COVID; it has been essential,” he said. “Without this team, there could have been numerous Airmen who fought their internal struggles alone that led to permanent negative results.”

Thompson explained that being in the units has given the team a better way to connect with service members and determine their needs.

“[Being in the unit] allowed for more targeted and expedient interventions in the moment, as well as facilitated specialty services due to a deeper understanding of the needs, potential barriers, and resources within units and their members,” Thompson said.

Duncan also stated that he hopes the DMH being in the units will help eliminate the stigma of asking for help.

“[Hopefully the DMH will] break down any stigmas associated with any particular helping agency team member,” he said. “This collective collaboration gives Airmen options to speak with professionals about their issues.”

He concluded with, “the DMH is a tried and true program that has helped countless Airmen through some of the most difficult times in their lives. I foresee this concept continuing these positive results well into the future.”

You also may be interested in...

Military nurses hold virtual research & evidence-based practice course

Article
10/30/2020
Two nurses, wearing masks, examining a mannequin

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the three-day in-person course was abbreviated to a one-day virtual.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Research and Innovation

‘Virtual Ward’ pilot program to reduce hospital stay time

Article
10/30/2020
Man's arm with blood pressure cuff and fingertip pulse oximeter

"The idea is that instead of staying in hospital longer..., patients are released early and can recover in the comfort and privacy of their homes."

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Technology | Coronavirus | Public Health

COVID-19 amplifies importance of Trusted Care culture

Article
10/29/2020
Image of soldier holding up a badge that says "Trusted Care."

The goal is to create a team of innovators focused on patient safety.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

JBLM hosts vital blood drive during COVID-19

Article
10/29/2020
Soldier giving blood

To maintain social distancing requirements, all blood drives are by appointment only.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Public Health | Coronavirus

Mental Health: What you can expect at a therapy appointment

Article
10/28/2020
Image of Richardson talking

You don’t have to wait until you’re in crisis to see a mental health professional.

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness

WRNMMC expands innovation and opens new, permanent drive-thru pharmacy

Article
10/23/2020
Military pharmacist, wearing a mask, looking at bags of prescriptions

The new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up will operate similarly as the curbside pharmacy pick-up.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Health Literacy Month 2020

Updated Guidance for Performing Temperature Checks at Military MTFs and DTFs

Publication
10/21/2020

This guidance is an update to Defense Health Agency Return to Full Operations Concept of Operations, V5.0 (June 12, 2020) as it pertains to temperature checks in MTFs and DTFs. Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), previous guidance directed MTFs to take the temperature of all individuals entering the facility. Effective immediately, temperature checks are not required; however, screening of individuals entering MTFs and DTFs and healthcare personnel on duty in the MTF or DTF is to continue.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Fort Irwin DENTAC strives to reach readiness perfection

Article
10/21/2020
Image of patient getting a dental exam

To accommodate an entire installation, the dental clinic extended its hours.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS | Combat Support

Specialized robots used to disinfect NH TwentyninePalms

Article
10/21/2020
Hospital personnel standing with a cleaning robot

The robotic units are designed to complement manual cleaning.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Navy pharmacy techs support COVID-19 and MHS GENESIS efforts

Article
10/20/2020
Navy personnel in a pharmacy

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aaron Souders is highlighted for his work as a Navy pharmacy technician.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS | Combat Support

Navy tele-health supports Guam civilian hospital during COVID-19

Article
10/19/2020
Woman sitting in front of several computer monitors

[T]his is the first-ever DoD tasking for telemedicine support in response to a request from civil authorities for aid.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Navy unit provided COVID-19 support to Peruvian First Responders

Article
10/16/2020
Fireman getting COVID test in firehouse garage

The province of Callao has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Peru.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement

COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit

Publication
10/16/2020

These messages are provided for you to use on your platforms with any of the images from the COVID-19 Toolkit.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 6

Technical Document
10/16/2020

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DoD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA Director outlines how MHS standardization bolsters reform

Article
10/15/2020
Two soldiers in masks, talking

How COVID-19 repositioned the best laid plans of the DoD.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Joint Health Information Exchange | MHS GENESIS | MHS Transformation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.