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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio – Different areas of subjective wellness (physical, mental, social, and spiritual) play a role in how an individual views themselves, others, and life.

Without a single advance, it becomes difficult to obtain the desired result.

Colonel Patrick Miller, Commander of Air Force Base’s 88th Wing and Installation, and Staff Sgt. Jason Shaffer, Chief of Wing Command, hosted a pilot health video on August 2 as part of the “Let’s Get it Wright” initiative.

They discussed the importance of all four areas of wellness and how each plays a key role in people’s care for themselves and the mission.

“There is still an old stigma that if you pursue mental health, it will affect your career,” Miller said. “You need to invest in your mental health because you need to be mentally prepared to go after it.

“If you are not mentally present, you cannot focus, you are distracted and not at your peak performance. Our mental health providers and the support agencies that are in place to support you and mentally get you back in the game are essential to achieving wellness.”

The Mental Health Clinic at Wright-Patterson Medical Center offers services such as:

  • individual counseling
  • Group therapy, including study skills and test anxiety, coping with the military, anxiety management, and sleep hygiene
  • psychological education
  • psychological evaluation
  • Tests
  • medication management

Major David Tubman, 88th clinical psychologist with the medical group, explained why it is important for all pilots to ensure their mental safety.

“If you can’t pay attention to components like physical, psychological, and social, the likelihood that you won’t be able to perform at your best will be much higher,” he said. “If things are not going well psychologically, then relationships can be affected, which in turn can affect your physical health, as well as your emotional health.

“Problems can start to develop and build on each other if we don’t pay attention to all aspects of who we are.”

Although mental awareness is a serious topic and not discussed lightly, Tubman says that most pilots are fully aware and mindful of their mental health.

“Our pilots are flexible,” he said. “They seek help from others, they show their weakness, they work to develop themselves, and when they face adversity, they have shown how great it is at putting themselves out.”

Shaffer agreed, saying he believes pilots recognize the signs and go out of their way to seek help for their mental health.

He said, “Our wellness is at an all-time high because we have people saying, ‘I need to get help.'” If there’s a time when you need to go get help, go get it.

“Every leader in every organization has to enable this and should want it because once that individual comes back from getting help, they are better. Not only are they better because they are mentally prepared to do the job, but they also know that you believe in them and care about them. They are in the Air Force. We believe in it and support it because of its importance.”

Military OneSource, Military Family Life Counselor and Mental Health Clinics are among the many resources available to all Airmen across the Air Force.

If you need mental health help at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, call 88 MDG Mental Health Clinic at 937-257-6877. The clinic is located on the fourth floor of Wright-Patterson Medical Center.

If you want to get personal assistance, the clinic opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed noon until 4:30 pm on the first Thursday of every month for staff training purposes.

To see the “Let’s Get it Wright” leadership discussion on wellness, visit www.facebook.com/WPAFB/videos/601966714540546/.

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