Third Army, 3rd MDSC hosts community care fair
September 7, 2011
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Sept. 7, 2011 -- Servicemembers work hard to be fit. Unit physical training, visits to the gym and healthy eating are all ways to stay strong. However, one aspect of health many troops overlook is mental well-being. To help introduce available services to personnel stationed here, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Service) leaders decided to hold an event to raise awareness.
"I wanted to put on a Community Care Fair to advertise the services Camp Arifjan has to offer," said Col. Jo Grandelli, chief of clinical operations and officer in charge, 3rd MDSC.
After arriving here, Grandelli looked over the statistics and realized something was amiss when it came to the mental health of service members stationed here, she said. Awareness of what was available is the key to helping out service members.
"I noticed the services aren't well known," Grandelli said. "I've met people who have been here approximately a year and didn't know we had a wellness center, didn't know we had a resiliency center, didn't know about Military OneSource."
The majority of the population consists of service members, but the health of everyone is important, whether they wear the uniform or not.
"The fair is a way to show Soldiers, civilians, Department of Defense employees and family members what resources are available to them as far as behavioral health," said Staff Sgt. Deryck Gransback, behavioral health noncommissioned officer in charge, 3rd MDSC.
With the high turnover rate for personnel at military bases, leaders hope the Care Fair will turn into an annual event so everyone gets a chance to learn what's offered.
"If the event is a success, the unit that replaces us may want to carry it on," Gransback said. "After the day is over, we'll find out our strengths and weaknesses and see where we can make improvements."
The day consisted of 12 booths set up inside the gym, followed by an afternoon of sporting events.
"Why did I want sporting events?" asked Grandelli. "Because sports involve teamwork. All armed forces are about teamwork."
At the end of the day, those members of your team are the ones who will notice personality changes and be in the position to help.
"The way to stay well is battle buddies," Grandelli said. "If your battle buddy is out-of-sorts, you need to make sure he gets better."
To make the event doable, service members had to be afforded the chance to leave work, which was made possible by Third Army leaders, she said.
"I want to thank the commanders who have influenced the attendance by authorizing their troops to be here," Grandelli said. "The fair is a great way to take care of the troops. This is a commanders' program -- taking care of the troops."