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Introducing Mental Health

The sun sets over the Concho River in San Angelo, Texas, Nov. 28, 2018. The Mental Health Clinic mission is to provide the highest quality of care to the base population and the local community, across all branches of service, to promote mental health and provide appropriate support through prevention, education and treatment services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Randall Moose)

The sun sets over the Concho River in San Angelo, Texas, Nov. 28, 2018. The Mental Health Clinic mission is to provide the highest quality of care to the base population and the local community, across all branches of service, to promote mental health and provide appropriate support through prevention, education and treatment services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Randall Moose)

(Courtesy Graphic)

(Courtesy Graphic)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The Mental Health Clinic on Goodfellow Air Force Base exists to provide base members accessible support for their individual or family needs.

Their mission is to provide the highest quality of care to the base population and the local community, across all branches of service, to promote mental health and provide appropriate support through prevention, education and treatment services.

“The Mental Health Clinic provides outpatient counseling services for the active-duty and student population,” said Senior Airman Therese Holm, 17th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health technician.

To obtain help, members may visit for walk-in appointments or make appointments over the phone. To protect a patient’s confidentiality, no one can make, confirm or cancel mental health appointments for another individual unless mandated by Commander Directed Evaluations.

“When a member first contacts the clinic, we use a safety assessment survey and a questionnaire to help determine the help they need,” said Holm. “The assessment looks for intent like self-harm or harm to others, any kind of abuse or neglect.”

In addition, the Mental Health staff will determine whether to see the member that day or whether to schedule them for an intake appointment within seven days. For the intake appointment, members will first complete self-report screeners and then a mental health provider will see them for approximately 90 minutes.    

“The process goes through their history,” said 17th MDOS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Robert Turner. “We go and get a good, complete picture of the individual so we know where to begin.”

Therapists will work with members to find their problems, set goals and help members meet those goals.

“As a counselor, there is a process,” said Turner. “Our experiences shape us and shape our perceptions. How I see the world and how they see the world is different. My job is to assist that individual, make sure they are better or the mission could be impacted.”

Mental Health provides Family Advocacy.

“The Family Advocacy Program is there for families,” said Holm. “Military families… are under a lot of stress between constantly moving, deployments and lack of a social support network.” Family Advocacy provides prevention and outreach to assist families in marriage and parenting roles. They offer classes on parenting, anger management, and stress management, in addition to other outreach efforts. In addition, they have providers who can see couples for marital therapy and assist with expecting and new parents.   

Mental Health also provides Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

Educating people how to drink responsibly, Blood Alcohol Levels and how to contact Airman Against Drunk Driving are some of the many topics offered through alcohol education and outreach efforts, Holm explained. In addition, members who may be experiencing an alcohol or drug abuse issue can choose to self-refer to treatment to target their problematic use and reduce the risk of any negative career or health consequences in the future.

With all these programs, military members should not be discouraged from seeking help.

“There is support at all levels for mental health and the military recognizes the value of it to the individual,” said Turner. “They want people to be successful and healthy because that makes them better Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen and Airmen.

“It is not a lengthy process. Sometimes it is just getting a little distance from the issue. You cannot see the entire forest when you are standing on the forest floor, so I urge anyone who is having issues to assess the situation from an outside perspective,” concluded Turner. “You are not alone and the programs are here to help and support you.”

To contact the Mental Health Clinic, call DSN 477-3122, or Commercial 325-654-3122.  Members can also contact the Veterans Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK.