FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.—The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Embedded Behavioral Health held an open house for the brigade’s command teams and Soldier Family Readiness Groups leaders August 5, 2021.
The open house offered the Rakkasan leaders an opportunity to understand the capabilities and resources available at the clinic to help Soldiers.
“We have been really thankful for [the] great support [from] leaders [today],” said Dr. Joe Tierney, Team Lead of EBH3. “I met [with] a couple [of] leaders who came in saying ‘we are here because we want to know how to take care of our Soldiers better.’ We are hearing that attitude and seeing that a lot. I saw it and I heard it 5 and a half years ago when I came [here], but it’s more prominent now,”
The Army’s behavioral health department was only available to Soldiers at centralized behavioral health clinics within garrison hospitals prior to 2012. While the programs were available to soldiers, the stigmas and mindset of looking for help were a hindrance to the intent to help Soldiers.
Being in the military, a lot of preventive maintenance checks and services is done to make sure equipment is functioning properly. Looking for help shouldn’t be a hindrance, the same thing should be done with mental health that’s done with the physical equipment in the military. Mr. Alvin Johnson, 3BCT psychology technician and retired First Sergeant who served 26 years said.
The model that changed the behavioral health structure to become less centralized stemmed from the 2010-2011 U.S. Army’s Public Health Command Study. The study revealed encouraging feedback within the ranks due to the increased accessibility, improved continuity of care, and less time away from duty.
The U.S. Army EBH adjusted their mission to reflect their summarized findings that the proximity of resources had a direct correlation on the effectiveness of functional units and to the individual Soldiers’ holistic health.
This had a positive effect on the readiness of deploying units while reducing Soldier high risk behavior. The results of the study conveyed such an impact that the Vice Chief of the Army, General Chiarelli, implemented the embedded behavioral health model among all clinics.
The model created opportunities to receive help with more personalized settings for the behavioral health teams to focus on each unit and to understand the specific mission set.
“Those forward strides are recognizable because it is more accepted as it becomes more exposed,” said Capt. Ariel Bergeron, a 3BCT Behavioral Health Officer. “We are all going through stuff at times and to become stronger, we have to grow through that pain, trauma, or hurt to, ultimately, grow through what you go through.”
The 3BCT’s EBH3’s open house improved the unit by educating leaders on how they can help Soldiers get stronger through many challenges to include: adjustment disorder, anxiety and depression, trauma-related issues, along with coping and stress management just to name a few.