Mental Health Outreach Clinic Makes Impact for Troops, Families

Story Number: NNS190812-05Release Date: 8/12/2019 1:43:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rafael Valdez, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs

San Diego (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) has many resources for service members and their families when it comes to health care, a newer one of which is the Mental Health Operational Outreach Division (MHOOD) clinic located in the Naval Station San Diego Navy Exchange and commissary complex.

The clinic, which officially opened April 26, 2018, is a location where anyone with access to Department of Defense health services can walk in, be assessed, and receive treatment.

“The basic idea is any active duty person, from any service, can walk into our clinic and be seen by a provider and a psychiatric technician,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephenie Scully. “When we have someone come in, we’ll intake them, and then we will either treat them here, or we’ll do a warm handoff with a more appropriate resource.”

While service members and their families may be able to access mental health care resources at a branch clinic through Military One Source or any DoD-sponsored hospital, the MHOOD clinic operates much like an urgent care clinic for mental health, and it gets people help at critical times.

“The MHOOD provides a more immediate response for active duty patients who come to us,” Scully said. “We’re trying to foster a culture of ‘no wrong doors,’ meaning that anyone should be able to go to their command medical provider, local clinic, Fleet and Family Support Center, their chaplain, or us, and they will get the help they need.”

The Navy’s refocus on operations comes with an increased focus on resiliency. As the Navy has safety programs and equipment for Sailors to use to keep themselves safe while doing their jobs, the medical professionals at the MHOOD clinic help commands train Sailors to keep themselves safe and engaged while they are deployed on the nation’s business.

“One of the things we do is help train the Fleet,” Scully said.

“We’ve had one command triad request a team to come aboard and talk to them about the importance of mental health to resiliency and a successful mission, and I think that as more people become aware of who we are and what we do, we’ll be able to work with more operational commands to provide tools for their crews which might help them detect potential problems before they become critical,” said Scully.

Whether a command is interested in developing resiliency training, or a person feels a need to seek urgent help or a diagnosis for mental health concerns, MHOOD is a place where people can walk in and feel like they are making progress toward improvement.

NMCSD’s mission is to prepare to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver quality health services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training, and research. The vision of the hospital is to be the nation’s premier military medical center, providing world-class patient care anytime, anywhere.


Get more information about the Navy from US Navy Facebook or Twitter.

For more news from Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO-- Lt. Cmdr. Bill Blair and Hospitalman Marie Ishie talk to a Sailor in the Mental Health Operational Outreach Division (MHOOD), demonstrating a typical counseling session with a patient. The MHOOD is a walk-in clinic which helps Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Coastguardsmen get care, treatment, and referrals for mental health issues. The MHOOD also acts as a hub for all of the different mental health resources available in the area for a person in need of counseling, from Fleet and Family Support Center to in-patient care. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class R. David Valdez/RELEASED
August 2, 2019
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.