Instilling Trust, Camaraderie
As El Paso opens its arms to the large influx of troops and their families as a result of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), mental health must be regarded as a primary issue in preparing Far West Texas to adequately provide for the specialized needs of an expanded military community.
Combat impacts not only the soldier and veteran but families and communities as well. Every soldier who has been exposed to the trials of combat is adversely affected. Most will come back to a support system of friends, family, and faith to help them transition and heal the psychological wounds. However, for those service members and families requiring additional assistance EHN has developed an array of support and clinical services.
As soldiers and veterans cope with the psychological issues associated with their military services, their families must often deal with stress, depression and anxiety. EHN is working to develop dedicated care programs for both children and adults. After BRAC movement is complete, nearly 90,000 people will be calling Fort Bliss and El Paso, Texas home. EHN is working with its military partners in developing a proactive approach to meet the needs of soldiers, veterans, families and members of the Army Reserve and U.S. National Guard.
In February of 2009, the Center created its Military Liaison Program to assist in coordinating services for military service members and their families and in establishing behavioral health service linkages with veterans groups and the military support community. When veterans, military service members or dependents come to an EHN facility, they will work with a Military Liaison who has been trained to meet their unique needs.
Early diagnosis and treatment often lead to successful outcomes. That is why EHN contracted a network of credentialed mental health providers that can conduct effective clinical screenings for common psychiatric issues. Licensed clinicians will use evidence-based tools and techniques in establishing a comprehensive screening program.
Mental health issues are not as easy to spot as physical wounds – especially for individuals without a medical background. Mental Health First Aid is a new program that provides every individual with the necessary tools and knowledge to recognize warning signs and access information on where to go for additional help. This 12-hour training is available to educators, law enforcement, family members and every one looking to learn more about mental illness and treatment.
EHN provides 24-hour telephone counseling and crisis intervention for individuals experiencing emotional distress or severe mental health crises. Our Crisis Line is manned by master's level qualified mental health professionals and backed up by on-call professionals. The Crisis Line also serves as the after-hours backup for the Sexual Assault Outreach Program, the Alzheimer's Identification Program, and the Army Community Services Program. For individuals seeking face-to-face counseling and crisis intervention, we provide intervention, crisis counseling and support and referral for long-term treatment. A psychiatrist is available if immediate medication or psychiatric interventions is needed (915)779-1800.
For more information on any of EHN's Military Outreach Servcies, please contact Kellie Burns, Military Liaison at (915)203-3981 or email
Because only a fellow soldier knows…
Talk to other soldiers about how to cope with the stresses of deployment and PTSD.
• Military Veteran Peer Network offers weekly support groups for spouses, soldiers and veterans. For more information on group locations and times, please call Kellie at 915-319-3811 or email her at Kjburns@ehnelpaso.org. All groups are free and confidential.
• The Women Veterans of El Paso provide support groups as well as community service projects for our female veterans. For more information on group times and locations, and how to become involved with the WVEP please contact Kellie at 915-319-3811 or email her at email@example.com. All groups are free and confidential.
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