GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - The Army Restoration and Reconditioning Center (RRC) understands that the mental health of Soldiers plays a major role in the strength of the nation’s army. The RRC hosts a 5-day structured program located in Grafenwoehr, Germany and Zagan, Poland where Soldiers with deployment stress receive enhanced coping strategies and problem solving techniques.
Soldiers attend the program so that they can restore and recondition their bodies and minds with the skills necessary to return to their units rejuvenated not only for themselves but for their fellow Soldiers.
To be a part of the program, the Soldier's command is made aware of their issues. Then behavioral health is notified and they conduct a thorough assessment of the Soldier’s mental health. If it is determined that poor stress management is a contributing factor, then they are recommended to the RRC.
At the beginning of the program, Soldiers are given surveys where they provide context as to why they believe behavioral health has recommended them for the program.
The goal of the RRC is to get Soldiers back into the fight.
“Everyone needs to take a knee every once in a while,” said the 254th Medical Detachment Combat Operational Stress Control (COSC) Spc. Mya Amaro. “You can't always be on the go.”
The program involves team building exercises to keep Soldiers mentally fit.
“We’ve had lieutenants and sergeants major take part in our program,” said Amaro. “No one has rank high enough that they are not welcome to reap the rewards of this program.”
The RRC is a program that serves as a guardian for Soldiers nurturing their mental health before it is too late.
”The reason why these Soldiers are referred to us is because they are having some form of breakdown in their ability to handle stressors,” said 254th COSC Maj. Uriah Perez. “What happens is that when a Soldier undergoes these types of stress patterns, they don't say that they need help until they are in crisis mode.”
When Soldiers are in crisis mode, they end up going to behavioral health because they often are having consecutive nights where they are sleeping poorly or are consuming alcohol excessively.
“When a Soldier gets into a battle rhythm, it's hard for them to unplug and disconnect so that they can get these types of services,” said Perez. “We call programs like ours prevention services because if Soldiers were better able to access these programs, it would deter them from getting into stressful situations they are not well equipped to manage.”
At the conclusion of the program, Soldiers are given another survey to determine if the information they have received during the program contributes to their ability to better manage their stress.
In the RRC is a colorful wall filled with testimonials of Soldiers expressing their appreciation for the program.
The RRC programs are utilized with great success in deployed settings to promote emotional, intellectual and social health among our Soldiers.