Miles, American Forces Press Service
DRUM, N.Y. ó The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
emphasized the importance of de-stigmatizing mental-health care for
returning war veterans as he cut the ribbon Feb. 9 on a newly
renovated facility designed to improve that care.
Adm. Mike Mullen, paying his first visit to the home of the 10th
Mountain Division, presided at the official opening of a new,
state-of-the-art, mental health facility.
earlier in the day at town hall sessions with junior Soldiers and
family readiness group leaders, Mullen said the military needs to do a
better job of encouraging people who need it to seek mental-health
got to work hard to meet the need, and actually get ahead of, the
challenges we have," he said. "I think weíre all in denial
if we donít recognize the huge, huge stress (multiple deployments
have) put our force and our families under."
have to address that, and address it up front," he said.
"I think we're all in denial if we don't recognize the
huge, huge stress (multiple deployments have) put our force and
our families under."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
cited disturbing suicide rates in the Army, and urged Soldiers to
"take care of each other" and recognize symptoms of
posttraumatic stress and other difficulties. He also urged spouses to
be on the lookout for problems. "We have to have every sensor
out," he said.
too, can experience secondary signs of posttraumatic stress, he said,
with the accompanying depression, sleeplessness and fear.
is human stuff," Mullen told the group. "Itís not
big hurdle, Mullen said, is getting people who need it to seek care
without fear that it will damage their reputation or military career.
Drumís new Wilcox Center was renovated to provide that much-needed
care in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. A two-year renovation
added 2,000 square feet to the World War II-era facilities it
replaced, increasing its overall size to more than 28,000 square feet.
toured the center, which includes more space for the postís
behavioral health department, offering more than 70 new office spaces,
three reception areas and multiple group meeting rooms and video
main reception area features a large, domed skylight and childrenís
waiting area that creates a welcoming atmosphere for Soldiers and
their families and providers. An expanded records storage area and
up-to-date automation systems help to increase the staffís ability
to provide care for Soldiers and their families.
Todd L. Benham, chief of Fort Drumís behavioral health department,
had rave reviews about the building.
Wilcox Clinic is truly an amazing facility, "he said. "Once
you step inside, you will see that the Army, the North Atlantic
Regional Medical Command and Fort Drum have worked diligently to make
a facility that shows the importance of caring for Soldiers and their
Maj. Ross A. Davidson, the Army Medical Department Activityís
logistics chief, said the new clinic demonstrates the Armyís
commitment to troops and their families.
beautiful facility is the direct result of a committed teamís effort
to plan, develop, and build a facility dedicated to improving the
health of our Soldiers and the Fort Drum community," he said.