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Lots of post mental health resources available

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COMMAND MESSAGE

By The Staff

By MAJ. GEN. JAMES MILANO

Fort Knox Commander

May is We Stand Together for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Your well-being and mental health are extremely important to me. It is essential to be at your best for your fellow Soldiers and for your Family. We need to support each other to continue mission-readiness.

The stress and challenges of military life can take a toll on a Soldier and his Family in terms of health, mood, productivity, and relationships. The good news is that there are tested and effective tools readily available to help you or someone you know cope better and improve well-being.

To help maintain your resiliency, you must take care of your physical self, engage in activities that you find positive and relaxing, and spend time with your friends and loved ones. Find a person you can talk to about your concerns, and if you need more tools to cope, don’t be reluctant to use the resources we have available for you. Remember that reaching out for help is a sign of strength that benefits you, your unit, and your Family.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, I remind you that the Army Substance Abuse Program is self-referring and has a high success rate. Substance abuse problems only compound other issues and can actually stop the healing process when one is trying to recover from post traumatic stress disorder or mild traumatic brain injury.

Our Ireland Army Community Hospital has a Behavioral Health Center located in Bldg. 1480 that provides access to care and state-of-the-art behavioral health services for Fort Knox service members and their Families. The center recently expanded its group therapy offerings. It’s staff can also refer you to in-patient recovery options in the local area.

Our Fort Knox military chaplains are another wonderful source to go to for spiritual guidance. They can help service members reintegrate with their Families and communities after a deployment. Chaplains hold a variety of religious services, faith groups, and provide individual and Family counseling.

The Fort Knox FMWR and ACS have a variety of activities that help Families cope with issues in a fun way. I was impressed with the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families that took place in April, aimed at helping Families deal with the hardships of deployments. There are a variety of classes, including Couples Communication, Managing Your Emotions, Hearts Apart Gathering, Battlemind for Families, Parent University, and Daddy Basic Training. I highly encourage you to find out more about these great opportunities at www.knoxmwr.com.

In addition to classes, high adventure activities that challenge us such as paintball, rapelling, and other extreme sports may be beneficial.

Online Web sites are plentiful, and a great starting place to look for help. Sites like www.afterde ployment.org have self-assessment tools on a variety of topics that include: sleep issues, anger, anxiety, PTSD, MTBI, Families and kids, as well as tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse. I also recommend a site that is excellent for all your military resources: http://www.warriorcare.mil/, which provides links to all the major military health care organizations.

I assure you that there are professionals to help you, even after your time with the military is complete. inTransition is a new program designed to offer service members receiving mental health treatment a bridge of support between health care providers should they transfer to a new location or separate from active service. You can visit the inTransition web site at www.health.mil/inTransition.

We can and will remain resilient and Army Strong!

Forge the Thunderbolt!

Want to respond to this column or suggest a topic? E-mail knox.commanderforum@conus.army.mil.