By By Drew Hamilton, Missile Ranger Staff WriterJanuary 21, 2010
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M., Jan. 21, 2010 - White Sands Missile Range Soldiers, civilians, contractors and Family members having trouble dealing with stress have a place where they can seek help at Army Community Services.
The Military and Family Life Consulting Program, established following the extension of deployments during operation Iraqi Freedom, provides Soldiers, civilians, contractors, and Family members affected by the deployment with help. "One of the goals (of the program) was to relieve service organizations, like the Chaplain, of the less severe cases so that they can devote more time to the long term cases," said Susan Wiser, Director of Army Community Services on post.
With the addition of professional counselors and consultants to their staff, ACS can now provide support in a wide range of areas. Now military Family members and other individuals whose jobs and lives force them to deal with the difficulties of a deployment can receive help. Unlike other military programs, which require that a case be started or that Army leadership be informed, individuals who receive assistance from a military and family life consultant remain anonymous. The MFLC can meet clients at a location chosen by the individual receiving assistance, except a private home or in a vehicle.
However, MFLC's are required to report any individuals with severe problems who pose a threat to themselves or others.
MFLCs can provide support with marital problems, family troubles, deployment, co-workers, loneliness, depression, anger management and stress.
In addition to supporting individuals and families, the MFLC can also give educational presentations to larger groups such as a WSMR staff meeting or Family Readiness Group.
The program is designed to address problems in the early stages. "Soldiers come in and tell their story and ask if what they are going through is O.K., if it's normal," Wiser said. In order to ensure confidentiality and keeping the short term problem and solution model in mind, MFLCs' have a limited term of duty, with a new MFLC coming to the installation every 60 days. However, the contact number remains the same.
Since the program is open to civilians and contractors as well as Soldiers and Family members, most on post organizations can benefit from the services. "It's good for supervisors because they can send employees who are having trouble over," Wiser said. The program also extends to children registered with Child, Youth and School Services.
Should a MFLC find that a client needs more intense or long term care; the individual can be referred to other Army programs that can provide the needed long term support.