Mental health stigma has long-been a concern, although progress has been made. What do you think are some ways to combat stigma, when envisioning yourself working on a base as mental health provider? Think of it as you are the only mental health provider in town and part of your job is increasing awareness to members of that town. How might you do this proactively?
As the Disaster Mental Health (DMH) Team Chief, your team has been activated to debrief the fire fighters on base. One of their members passed away while responding to a large fire that destroyed two buildings. Thankfully, everyone else was safe, although some people were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation injuries. They are expected to fully recover.
You reach the fire department with the rest of your DMH team (typically, a MH technician, Chaplain, and a civilian representative). This is your first brief (presentation) relating to a death on base and one that strikes close to home for members of this unit. Prepare a short brief. What would you say? What points about responses to grief would you want to emphasize? How would you educate them on how they may potentially respond and how would you normalize their reactions? What if some of them have no reaction to this event? What kinds of resources would you refer them to in their times of need (you can make some up)?
Section 2.5 “DMH Services” of Air Force Instruction (AFI) 44-153, may help you in answering part of this assignment.