Promoting mental health awareness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Heimbuch
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

As Depression and Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, it is imperative that the public stays aware of the trials and tribulations others may go through.

Mental fitness is one of the four core pillars of resiliency, alongside spiritual, social, and physical health. Maintaining a strong disposition in all these core pillars help individuals bounce back much more effectively from adverse events in their lives. 

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Andrew Mundy, 316th Training Squadron instructor, and his wife Christyn Mundy, social worker, both feel a call to support individuals' mental health.

“Mental health plays a significant role on how people function,” said Andrew. “If you're not in the right mindset you can’t expect to be the best that you can be.”

Andrew has personal experiences with mental health related issues and wants to use his experience to help others in similar situations.

“When it comes to mental health, it is an ongoing battle for me, both on a personal and professional level,” said Andrew. “I’m trying to decrease the stigma associated with mental health. I still have my top-secret clearance; I seek help for mental health. In my experience, the belief that getting help directly affects your clearance is false.”

Christyn believes that many issues can be worked through by engaging in counseling. 

“Talking to a professional about mental health is just maintenance,” said Christyn. “It’s about staying on top of things that could lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Talking about and working through the causes of these issues can drastically reduce the impact they have on someone.”

“I want to share with Airmen that it's okay to seek help,” said Andrew. “If you don't get help, that's when problems start to worsen.”

“We need to be more vocal about mental health,” said Andrew. “We need people who have sought help to say that there are avenues available to help. The more vocal we can be as a force and be able to say, ‘it’s okay not to be okay,’ the more comfortable people can be to seek the help they need.”

Christyn believes forming relationships can reduce feelings of isolation, which can be a contributing factor for depression.

“The civilian and military sectors have a lot of differences,” said Christyn. “Military members can be separated from their families, experience challenging mission requirements, or be moved across the globe into a new home. Remember, you're never alone in your situation, so there's always someone to talk to.”

The Department of Defense understands the challenges service members face. With that in mind, Goodfellow provides a plethora of counseling and support services.

“There are so many resources that individuals have access to: the First Sergeant, the mental health clinic on base, Military OneSource, chaplains, and more. It’s available and put in place to make someone the best they can be, so take advantage of it,” says Christyn.

“You can also take advantage of TRICARE off-base referrals,” said Christyn. “Places like behavioral health hospitals, guidance and counseling organizations, and individual therapists.” 

Andrew is training to become a First Sergeant, to be a pillar his troops can lean on.

“I’m all about caring for people; as a First Sergeant you often engage with Airmen dealing with challenging circumstances,” said Andrew.

Andrew says that support comes from more than outside resources and leadership.

“Having supportive organizations who can empathize with or understand what someone is going through can make all the difference in the world,” said Andrew.

“You don’t need to be a First Sergeant, to support people, you don’t even need to be a leader. It’s essential that we all support one another.”


If you’re ever in need of support, below are some resources available here at Goodfellow and in the local community. 

Mental Health Clinic: (325) 654-3122

Chaplain: (325) 654-3424

Military and Family Life Counselors through the Military & Family Readiness Center:

(325) 654-3893

Military OneSource:  1-800-342-9647