Removing the Mental Health Stigma During MHAM

Story Number: NNS180511-17Release Date: 5/11/2018 12:09:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Monique K. Meeks, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Public Affairs Office

NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NSGB), in partnership with Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay (NHGB), is focused on increasing awareness of psychological and emotional health among service members, veterans, family members and caregivers in an effort to remove the stigma of seeking help during the month of May in support of National Mental Health Awareness Month.

"We take mental health as seriously as we would physical health because it plays just as important a role in determining a Sailor's readiness and ability to function at his or her best," said Captain David Culpepper, NSGB's commanding officer. "I want every service member to know that they can seek treatment and should seek treatment for mental health issues without any fear of stigma or penalty."

NHGB is using this opportunity to provide tools and resources to help patients better understand the care available to them at the hospital, Joint Trooper Clinic, and through JSMART.

"Mental healthcare is one of the many services Naval Hospital provides to ensure the men and women of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay are healthy, ready and on the job," said Capt. J. C. Nicholson, NHGB's commanding officer. "As long as you don't make it a big deal, then it's not a big deal."

In many cases, mental health illnesses are not only treatable, but also preventable. There are several avenues to help those who are living with these psychological health concerns and conditions, from talking to their primary care manager to visiting the base chaplain or Fleet and Family Support Center.

Military life and its associated experiences can be especially challenging and cause many service members and their families to experience various levels of stress. People can experience different types of mental health problems that may affect their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and even mood. Without resolution, these problems can cause lack of sleep and energy, increase stress, and be tasking on someone's physical health.

There's a wide range of mental health support, including inpatient treatments that provide counseling and care for emotional, behavioral, or mental health crisis, to outpatient treatments with psychiatrists and psychologists to licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists that are committed to giving the best mental health care to patients.

JSMART also offers deployed service members a way to navigate that stress during their deployment through a series of tailor-made activities, events, and counseling.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to the base chaplain's office at 2323, FFSC at 4141, or the hospital's behavioral health clinic at 72650. Service members assigned to Joint Task Force Guantanamo can also call JSMART at 2321.

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service.