EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when the military enhances its focus about the subject.
The Air Force’s targeted care program offers access to mental health care and other non-medical resources.
The initiative is designed to get eligible patrons to the right care at the right time, said Capt. Amy LaBounty, 96th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic director of psychological health.
The targeted care program was tested at several Air Force bases in 2022 and has been shown to improve wait times for patients requiring specialty care.
According to the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, mental health utilization has tripled since 2004. More than 50% of those seeking help don’t have a diagnosable mental health condition.
Targeted care allows members to receive care where they need it, and allows the clinic to get patients help faster, so they don’t have to wait for specialty mental health care.
LaBounty said members don’t always require help at the clinic.
“If a patient comes to our clinic for help, we will assess them and help them make to the decision on what they need,” she said.
A prevention model, which outlines details and avenues of mental health care, is being distributed to base agencies, units and squadrons.
The prevention model educates wingmen on tools they can use to assess and utilize on their own. If that doesn’t work, they can go to the next level of targeted care, which includes lower-level counselors and other resources, including our chaplains, military family life counselors and providers through Military One Source.
“Our members don’t have to wait until their mental health gets to crisis,” she said. “Mental health is something they should have the ability to maintain and manage. If not, there are options available for them. Our goal is to give our members evidenced-based treatment and return them back to the mission.”
For more information, call 883-8373.