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News > Mental Health personnel hold "Thriving through Adversity" workshop
 
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Thriving Through Adversity
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Maj. (Dr.) Mikel Merritt, 374th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist, offers helpful tips for coping with effects of natural disasters at a 'Thriving through Adversity' workshop March 30, 2011. The workshop reflects Yokota's continued commitment to provide for the health of its servicemembers and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
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Mental Health personnel hold "Thriving through Adversity" workshop

Posted 3/31/2011   Updated 3/31/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


3/31/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- -- Professionals at the mental health facility hosted a workshop March 30, to help Team Yokota members and temporary duty personnel cope with added stress brought on by Operation Tomodachi.

The training, named "Thriving through Adversity," taught members basic techniques on how to cope with and grow from events that bring increased stress.

The workshop was the project of Maj. (Dr.) Mikel Merritt, 374th Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist, who facilitated the briefing and spoke to those in attendance.

"Going through a natural disaster, coping with the aftermath and dealing with family separations are ultimately things that make people stronger," said Maj. Merritt.

Along with many usable tips, mental health personnel taught specific ways to deal with stress. They encouraged personnel to engage in productive ones, rather than destructive ones, and taught them how to take control of elements in their own life.

One proactive technique taught was being able to talk to people going through similar situations.

"Coming together as a community and learning techniques better prepares us in case something were to happen in the future," said Hugh Clark, 374th MDOS family advocacy outreach manager.

He also said talking to others will destroy rumor mills that only focus on the negative aspects of situations.

The workshop theme focused on how situations can bring out an inner strength and fortitude some might not know they posses.

Going through a natural disaster, coping with the aftermath and dealing with family separations are ultimately things that make people stronger," said Major Merritt.

Capt. Lakisha Albertie attended the briefing and benefited from what was taught.
"It helped a lot because sometimes you get frustrated, and then you feel like you're not able to talk with the people at your facility," said Captain Albertie, 374th Surgical Operations Squadron. "Something like this makes someone more comfortable and lets
them know there are people trying to understand what they are going through."

Given all the information they presented during the workshop, the mental health staff hopes that what they taught stays with everyone who attended. Along with other base agencies, the mental health staff is available to help the people of Yokota.

"I'm glad I came," said Captain Albertie. "This class helps people understand that what they're going through is normal, while offering healthy ways to deal with it."



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