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Yokota's Stress Management and Resiliency Team lends a helping hand during COVID-19

START graphic

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --

When we face challenges, having a helping hand through the tough times makes coping and adjusting to those challenges easier.

The COVID-19 pandemic is now at the forefront of those challenges and the recently implemented Stress Treatment and Resiliency Team (START) is functioning as a collective “helping hand” for the Yokota community.

“The START initiative is a community support integration effort that brings together helping organizations, in coordination with unit first sergeants, to provide continuity of care for those Yokota community members held in a restriction, quarantine, or isolation status,” said Carla Tyson, Airman and Family Readiness Center interim flight chief and START coordinator.

Base helping agencies, to include A&FRC, Chaplain, USO, Military Family Life Consultant and Red Cross, all work through the START program to provide direct assistance and support to those under Restriction of Movement or quarantine.

“Our mission is to combine efforts to help identify, assess, and meet the mental, emotional, social, spiritual and sustainment needs and demands for activities of daily living, during COVID,” said Tyson.

Anyone who is in ROM or quarantine status and requires assistance should coordinate with their unit point of contact or first sergeant to get their needs properly met.

In addition to helping those in ROM or quarantine, START is also focused on providing assistance to anyone who is reaching out to help their unit members unable to leave their homes.

“We want to encourage people who are wanting to provide assistance to the members of their unit who are in restriction or quarantine to go through their chain of command,” said Master Sgt. Mario Rainge, 374th Communications Squadron first sergeant and START coordinator. “It is our mission, as a collective, to keep all of our community members safe.”

The team was specifically created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the Yokota community members affected by it, said Tyson. She hopes the idea inspires other bases to do the same.

As the challenges of the Coronavirus remain apparent, the START initiative lends a helping hand to those in need.