By Joan VaseyNovember 14, 2012
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - With the snip of a ribbon on Nov. 8, Behavioral Health Services, or BHS, at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Clinic, RWBAHC, officially opened their new $2.5 M, 9,350 square-foot location on the second floor of the building.
"Everyone's presence this morning unequivocally affirms and validates that Army senior leaders are fully committed to supporting behavioral health programs and reducing any stigma associated with getting BH help," said Col. Bill Moran, commander, RWBAHC, at the ceremony.
"When I was a young second lieutenant, 24-plus years ago, outpatient behavior health clinics were usually hidden and as far away from the main treatment facility as possible. There definitely was a negative stigma associated with seeking treatment, and those who did seek assistance were seen or perceived as weak," he added.
"Today, the entire Army is working together to create a culture and an environment where Soldiers feel comfortable and are encouraged to get the behavioral health assistance they need. Inculcating and enforcing this mindset into our formations is how we are going to gain irreversible momentum in the fight of reducing the number of suicides we have in our Army," Moran said.
Fort Huachuca's BHS currently offers adult and child psychology and counseling services; adult psychiatry services; neuropsychology and traumatic brain injury services for service members; behavioral health nurse case management services for service members; and clinical Family Advocacy Program services for service members and their Families. In addition, BHS hosts anger and stress management and parenting groups and one group specifically designed to address the needs of adults who were abused as children.
RWBAHC has several initiatives in place to support the integration between primary care and behavioral health care.
"We have an embedded behavioral health provider, [or BHP], at the Family Care Clinic, who provides behavioral health services to non-military beneficiaries, including Family members and retirees," said Lt. Col. Susanna Steggles, BHS officer-in-charge. She added that an embedded behavioral health provider at the Military Intelligence Student Clinic is on site.
"We [also] have an embedded BHP at the Warrior Transition Unit, who attends to the behavioral health needs of service members assigned to the WTU, Steggles said.
Within the next few months, RWBAHC plans to embed a BHP at the Soldier-Centered Clinic to assist with BH needs of the permanent party population. Additionally, the RWBAHC BHS is currently in negotiations with Tripler Army Medical Clinic, Hawaii, to establish virtual behavioral programs to handle the counseling and psychiatric needs of Fort Huachuca's child and adolescent behavioral health population.
BHS and the clinical component of the Family Advocacy Program can be reached at 533.5161/7030.