NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Italy (Sept. 12, 2023) – Human connection is vitally important to the human psyche, so to help build a strong environment of connectedness and social support for all service members and families, Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella units gained additional Military and Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) throughout the installation, this year.
“Having an MFLC at our command gives my service members another resource; another opportunity to reach out. They’re not always comfortable talking to leadership or coworkers, but they may be comfortable reaching out for support at the ground level – at their level,” said Navy Computer and Telecommunication Station Sicily (NCTS) Command Senior Chief Aaron Ward, from Wilmington, Delaware. “It makes me incredibly happy and grateful this resource is now available.”
Military and Family Life Counselors are Department of Defense (DoD)-approved, third-party counselors who provide free and confidential, non-medical counseling to all military personnel and their dependents. The MFLC program is designed to parallel other mental health resources available to service members; however, MFLC counseling is non-medical and records of conversations are not kept. The services are confidential, unless a client plans to harm themselves or others, or commit an illegal activity, which require mandatory reporting.
According to Ward, many MFLCs have master or doctorate-level training and most are licensed to provide mental health counseling.
“Having MFLCs available to support our service members and families has improved both morale and quality of life here,” said NAS Sigonella Command Master Chief Randy Dickerson. ”We are grateful to be able to provide another support resource to anyone who may need it, because sometimes, being in the military and being a spouse or child of a military member can feel incredibly isolating, especially overseas, so having the chance to be heard can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
Service members and their families can speak with an MFLC in a one-on-one or group setting about service-related challenges, such as deployment, stress management, moving preparations and changing duty stations; or life-related challenges, like relationships and problems at work, or grieving the loss of a loved one or friend.
There are four MFLCs currently serving the Sigonella community. Janie is the adult program MFLC, Clare and Laura Leigh are the NAS Sigonella schools MFLCs and Susan is the Child and Youth Program/School-Aged Care MFLC.
MFLCs can meet service members and families anywhere that isn’t a private residence, including vehicles. The adult program MFLC also has an office at both NAS Sigonella barracks.
To schedule a meeting with the adult program MFLC, or for more information, call 314-624-2860, or +39 331-451-8050.
To reach a child program MFLC, the CDC at +39-349-518-4087; Middle and High School at +39-349-513-8411; and the Elementary School at +39-347-405-0244.
Improving connections, supportive relationships, and open communication may not be the only benefits of receiving counseling, but can also help resolve a person resolve issues when they are small and guard against suicidal ideation.
Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach is the Department of Defense suicide prevention campaign for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September 2023. It promotes the importance of connection and encourages reaching out for help. With this campaign, DoD reminds everyone that taking a few minutes to make a connection can make a difference to someone experiencing a challenging time, and significantly impact suicide prevention.
In addition to the MFLCs at NAS Sigonella, and mental health services available at U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella and through Tricare, other support resources include: Chaplains, Military OneSource, and The Veterans and Military Crisis Line, which offers free and confidential help 24 hours a day, seven days a week through chat (VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat) or by calling 00800-1273-8255 or DSN 118 OCONUS. To reach the Crisis Line INCONUS: Dial 988 and press one, or reach through text at 838255.
NAS Sigonella’s strategic location enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to deploy and respond as required, ensuring security and stability in Europe, Africa and Central Command. For more news and information from NAS Sigonella, visit https://cnreurafcent.cnic.navy.mil/Installations/NAS-Sigonella/ or https://www.facebook.com/nassigonella/.
|Date Posted:||09.12.2023 09:05|
|Hometown:||WILMINGTON, DE, US|