FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Staff members with Weed Army Community Hospital’s Behavioral Health Department toured several Fort Irwin resiliency resources December 2, here.
Maj. Darnell Durrah, the chief of the department of behavioral health for Weed ACH, and the installation director of psychological health, arranged the tours.
“We had a force multiplier tour where we went to other ready resilient agencies on the installation to learn about their full capabilities to be more equipped to offer those services to our patients,” Durrah, a Compton, Calif., native, said.
Ensuring the readiness of Soldiers through resources available is a priority for Durrah and his team.
“Every medical appointment is a readiness appointment, and sometimes readiness goes far beyond the symptom presentation holistically, so what other resources are needed in order for this Soldier and this family to stay ready,” Durrah said. “That’s why it’s important for medical providers in the military to understand what the resources are because at the end of the day it comes down to readiness.”
The Weed ACH behavioral health team met with resiliency agencies including the Army Wellness Center, Army Community Service, the post chapel, Military and Family Life Counseling, Army Substance Abuse Program, and the Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Center.
Sharon Ku, a master resilience trainer-performance expert with the R2 Performance Center, explained the purpose of the center to the staff.
According to Ku, a Cerritos, Calif. native, the R2 Performance Center serves Soldiers, family members, and Department of the Army civilians by providing mental performance training to enhance and sustain personal readiness and resilience.
“We work with the Fort Irwin community by creating personalized training plans and courses which are tailored to the individual and unit needs,” she said. “On the performance side, our performance experts help individuals to perform more optimally and more consistently in multiple domains such as academics, athletics, or job performance.”
Many of the resiliency resources on Fort Irwin incorporate aspects of the Army’s Performance Triad, which emphasizes the importance of health behaviors including sleep, activity, and nutrition.
Durrah said if a Soldier comes in as a walk in for stress or problems sleeping, he sometimes recommends completing two or three stress classes then returning to see him.
“Typically, 90% of the time the Soldiers say, ‘You know what sir, I’m good, that’s all that I needed’,” Durrah said.
The partnerships among the different resources is especially important at Fort Irwin due to its remote location in the Mojave Desert.
“It's important for the resiliency agencies on post to work together to provide a more diverse approach to sustaining the five dimensions of personal readiness (physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and family),” Ku said. “Each resiliency agency provides its own expertise, and by combining different areas of expertise, we can offer more tools and skills for the Fort Irwin Community to leverage in preparation and response to a variety of challenges and stressors.”