HomeNewsArticle Display

Mental health: Essential to comprehensive fitness

Maj. Crystal McLeod and Staff Sgt. Rebecca Michalek demonstrate relaxation training, May 7, 2014 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. In addition to treating military related post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health has the capability to assist with a wide variety of ailments. McLeod is the 30th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy officer. Michalek is the 30th MDOS mental health element noncommissioned officer in-charge  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

Maj. Crystal McLeod and Staff Sgt. Rebecca Michalek demonstrate relaxation training May 7, 2014, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. In addition to treating military related post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health has the capability to assist with a wide variety of ailments. McLeod is the 30th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy officer. Michalek is the 30th MDOS mental health element NCO in-charge (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- As Airmen begin to return from more than a decade of combat in the Middle East, and cope with the perils of war, distinguishing mental health clinics as valuable resources rather than detrimental career-enders is paramount.

Although it aims to promote overall mental fitness, negative reactions toward mental health have been common in the military.

"Often times, people are afraid to come to mental health because they feel like their careers will be affected but what we want people to know is the reason we exist is so they can stay on the front-lines and continue to do their jobs every day," said Maj. Crystal McLeod, from the 30th Medical Operations Squadron. "My goal is not to take things away or stop people from working, I need them to work. That's why we're here, so we can keep them in their duties."

In addition to treating military related post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health has the capability to assist with a wide variety of ailments.

"My primary role in the clinic is the family advocacy officer," McLeod said. "My job is not only to deal with things that may be perceived as being negative in family advocacy, but it is also to help the Vandenberg Air Force Base community understand that we offer lots of preventive services to help enhance families as well."

Due to the often sensitive nature of patients' psychological well-being, the dedicated personnel of the mental health clinic take their work extremely seriously.

"My goal is to make everyone who comes to our clinic, leave with a smile on their face," said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Michalek, the 30th MDOS mental health element NCO in-charge. "I want our service members to get the help they need not only for the mission, but for themselves."

While many military members remain wary of mental health clinics, McLeod is proud of how far her profession has come over the years.

"Back in the Vietnam days if you couldn't perform, you went home," McLeod said. "The stigma of mental health was very prevalent. Now, the military has resources available to help our service members continue with the mission during their times of need."

Mental health personnel maintain great job satisfaction and encourage anyone who is struggling with anything, to come through their doors.

"What keeps me in the uniform is not only my love for the Air Force, but what I do in the Air Force," McLeod said. "I really want people to know we are friendly, fun and have a great time in this clinic, yet we are very serious about treating our patients and getting them the care they need."

Engage

Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Doing frequent mental health check-ins could make a big difference in building resiliency. Promote wellness within yourself…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Every time I look at "Wings Through Time” by Robert Emerson Bell it’s a constant reminder that the ability to accelerate…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: If you need help or know someone who needs help - text 838255 or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Military Crisis Line. Let…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: A @usairforce KC-135 refuels a B-2 Spirit in @US_EUCOM during a bomber task force mission.Tankers fuel the required reach…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message during #SuicidePreventionMonth: "You are our greatest strength and the beating heart of our Air…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Congratulations to the @USAirForce’s 12 Outstanding #Airmen of the Year on earning recognition as exemplary performers i…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ #DidYouKnow Sept. is Insider Threat Awareness Month? No environment is immune from the threat posed by trusted insiders.…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Sharene and I take the caring and well-being of our Airmen and their families very seriously. Thank you @AirForceAssoc fo…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Everyone wants to make their mark on the world. But why make just one? https://t.co/g1iX4pzU9b
Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Twitter
.@AETCommand is working to remove barriers in the pilot candidate selection process. Learn more about the changes… https://t.co/ANcqVRdsNz
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones spoke on the anniversary of DADT... https://t.co/zZYqHOTp8V
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "We are in a national, strategic, long-term contest with a formidable adversary and what you do every day is important t…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,377,635
Follow Us