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Stress Management Critical for Servicemembers

Air Force News | Ashley Mangin | June 18, 2007

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- In times of war, stress is inevitable. With the closure of the flightline here, added stress will be introduced, but the mental health clinic is providing seminars to deal with the situation.

"(Stress) impacts all areas of life -- honestly," said Maj. James Young, Mental Health Clinic flight commander. "It impacts our relationships, how well we handle problems in relationships or issues in relationships. It affects our ability to perform adequately on the job. It definitely affects our health and well being."

Military life can be stressful enough with moving every few years, but deployments and temporary duty assignments add another level of stress on military members and their families.

The closure of Spangdahlem's flightline will be an additional stressor to many Airmen here. While the flightline is closed, Airmen will be sent on training missions and various temporary duty assignments. When they return, some will be leaving again shortly for their scheduled deployment with Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotation 7/8.

"(The seminar) provides the deployer with lots of information about ways to kind of unwind when they return from the deployment and it gives lots of suggestions about things that you'll want to do and things that you might not want to do, like the alcohol and the caffeine and things like that," said Major Young.

Major Young teaches a stress management seminar. In a group setting, he tries to show some of the healthier ways of dealing with stress such as deep breathing, diet changes or even changing the way you think.

Even though it is important for deploying servicemembers to be aware of stress management techniques, they are not the only people who can benefit from this service offered by the Mental Health Clinic.

"All of us can benefit from improving stress management techniques," said Maj. Franklin Swayne, Mental Health clinical social worker. "Be it personal, professional or family, they can all benefit."

Major Young also emphasizes that these techniques should be used not only in a stressful situation, but also as a preventative measure.

"To always be mindful of what you're doing on daily basis to keep that stress level down and to approach stress management in kind of a preventative way -- meaning that you don't want to wait until you're in that really stressful event to practice your stress management."

Copyright 2007 Air Force News. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of PTSD Support dot net.

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