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NEWS | Sept. 25, 2019

BHOP: the one-stop shop

By Staff Sgt. Kaylee Dubois 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

“Our teammates are taking their own lives,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said in a recent resiliency video.

There’s a worldwide epidemic haunting our U.S. Air Force Airmen, causing significant grief and hardship. In the recent video, Wright urges leaders at all levels to provide an environment for Airmen to voice their concerns, listen intently to those concerns and then lead them in direction toward the resources available.

“We lose more Airmen to suicide than any other single enemy — even more than combat,” Wright said. “That’s 78 teammates, that’s 78 wingmen, that’s 78 spouses, that’s 78 brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. Seventy-eight who couldn’t find a single reason to keep going.”

When it comes to resources at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Airmen and their supervisors have a one-stop shop for mental health assistance using the Behavioral Health Optimization Program located in the 633rd Medical Group’s Operational Medicine Clinic at the Langley Hospital.

In order to fulfill the influx of Airmen requesting mental health service, U.S. Air Force Maj. Jocelyn Moore, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy officer, said her team decided to make the service easier and faster to obtain, hence the creation of BHOP.

“We are further destigmatizing mental health and making it a part of your overall wellbeing by taking a holistic approach and providing behavioral health services within the OMC,” Moore said. “Mental wellness keeps us in the fight and that is exactly what we want to do.”

Working alongside Airmen’s primary care manager, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jordan Ashlock, 633rd MDOS BHOP technician included a specially-trained multidisciplinary mental health team that helps provide Airmen with the utmost care while identifying the resources and support that best suits their needs.

“Being in the primary care setting, it is really easy for us to take hold of that holistic care since we're right there with your PCM,” Ashlock said. “Mental capacity is just as important as the whole physical and sometimes Airmen feel like their needs are not being met as a whole. Now with our team being in the OMC with their PCM, we are able to keep that holistic approach intact.”

For Airmen, walking into BHOP or calling to make an appointment opens up a variety of services the mental health care team have at their fingertips.

From sleep to meditation classes, BHOP providers can help lead Airmen on a path to healthy coping mechanisms and strengthened resiliency.

“Resiliency means being able to fall down and get back up and a lot of people are not able to do it by themselves,” Ashlock said. “That’s where we come in. Being able to come in and talk to somebody and get the support that you may not have when you leave work, or leave the base, is very important.”

According to Moore, with this new service, her team can provide timely care to Airmen who may need some skill building and basic intervention to keep their mental or behavioral health from becoming more severe.

“Our Airmen are receiving quality evidence-based service regardless of the setting or location,” Moore said. “We just want to make sure we get everyone to the appropriate resources and in doing that we can provide more services, faster and with more follow-up.”

To talk with a mental health care provider, visit the OMC in the Langley Hospital Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or call 757-225-7630 to make an appointment.