CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys’ Wellness Week hosted by the garrison’s Army Substance Abuse Program and Better Opportunity Single Soldiers team kicked-off 5 p.m., Sept. 13 at Camp Humphreys family theater and will end Sept. 16 with a 5k fun run on Marne Avenue.
The three days worth of events are taking place as a part of a month-long suicide prevention initiative to highlight available on-post and off-post resiliency resources and to foster a strong sense of community with the members stationed at Camp Humphreys.
To reel in the week, Pixar’s animated movie “Inside Out” was played at the on post theater at no cost to attendees. The movie focuses on the varied emotions a girl goes through as she journeys from childhood, into adolescence, and as she faces change and disappointment in her life.
Bisirat Sium, Employee Assistance Program coordinator, said the movie was picked because families in the military community know what it's like to have to pick up and move during a service member’s deployment or when it’s time to change stations. Children must change schools and spouses must find a new job and re-adjust to a new community. Emotions vary and sometimes it can be uncomfortable. She said the movie is applicable for children and adults alike.
“After all, we are all still trying to be self-aware, and learning how to self-regulate and manage our emotions to the best of our abilities, even as adults,” said Sium.
Along with learning how to be more self-aware, Soldiers and community members had the opportunity to get one-on-one time with some of the garrison’s mental health and resiliency providers Sept. 14, in the ASAP’s circle of support during the Humphreys’ Wellness Fair.
Specialist Ian Holmes, BOSS president for USAG-Humphreys, said for the Wellness Fair they were able to get both on-post and off-post organizations to set up booths in a circle, creating a "circle of support" to educate and talk to the Soldiers and their family members about mental health.
“You need that circle of support,” said Sium. “Especially here in Korea because you don’t have that initial family support, so you have to create your own family. We have the United Service Organizations and the Red Cross, both places you can go to and volunteer. There will be tables with Exceptional Family Member Program, Army Community Services, and library representation. These are all great places to garner the support you need.”
Representatives from Military and Family Life Counseling, Troy University, University of Maryland Global Campus, Embry Riddle, ASAP, and behavioral health providers were out to show their support.
Austin Gano, BOSS vice president, said the intent of the fair was to find the resources which could help strengthen Soldier’s mental health. He said sometimes when Soldiers are coming straight out of advance individual training they do not realize all the free resources at their disposal, The Wellness Fair produced an opportunity for them to see what Humphreys has to offer to keep their minds healthy.
The final event will be a 5k glow fun walk/run which will take place on Marne Avenue across from Balboni Field. Holmes said participants will be running to shine a light on suicide because it is an issue, but hopefully after this week the community will be aware there is support throughout the garrison ready to help.
Sium said there are resources available for family, service members, Korean Augmentation to the United States, and Korean national employees. The crisis hotline 988 is now available 24/7 for anyone who needs help, and the employee assistance program is available for civilians and families.