Coping with combat-related stress: Your options in Schweinfurt
May 28, 2013
SCHWEINFURT, Germany (May 29, 2013) -- Soldiers seeking treatment for combat-related stress here have options to address behavioral health needs while still protecting their confidentiality and privacy.
Chaplain services and counselors known as military family life consultants provide accessible counseling for service members concerned about the stigma of receiving treatment from the behavioral health department.
Maj. Justin Curley, chief of Behavioral Health for U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, agrees that factors such as perception and unit climate can have an influence on a Soldier's decision to seek help.
"There is this term about being broken or faulty, kind of like an engine part that isn't working," he said.
Other counselors, such as those who provide spiritual guidance, serve as a go-between for Soldiers and their chains of command.
"Do Soldiers use the chaplain because of confidentiality? Absolutely," said Deputy Chaplain for USAG Schweinfurt, Capt. William Oliver. "But most of the time the Soldiers want me to get involved and to set things up as far as getting help on their behalf."
Although many service members worry about the potential impact on their careers and alienation within the unit, negative ramifications are a thing of the past.
"There was a time where there was a stigma and it could potentially hurt security clearances, but those days are over," Oliver said. "And so now I would say we have a culture in the Army where it's just the opposite. If you don't get help that could just as much hurt your career."
In addition to spiritual counseling for the individual Soldier, the Religious Support Office also provides marriage counseling for couples that have difficulties as a result of separation due to deployment.
Military and family life consultants, or MFLCs, are another confidential support option for Soldiers. The MFLC staff counsel Soldiers on issues ranging from daily life issues to grief and loss. No records are kept of the meetings and after-hours and weekend appointments are available.
The Religious Support Office can be reached at 09721-96-1370 or DSN 354-1370, and military and family life consultants are available 24/7 at 0141-8111-461, 0174-831-0722 or 0151-0449-5663. For more on the clinic's Behavioral Heath department, call 09721-96-6231 or DSN 354-6231.