Naval Forces Central Command Holds Two-Day Mental Health Stand Down

April 14, 2023 6:01 PM
Sailors assigned to guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) prepare to depart Manama, Bahrain, during a sea and anchor detail on March 21, 2021. US Navy photo

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command held a two-day mental health stand down in Bahrain, the Navy announced Thursday.

During the stand down, which will kick off a series of events held by the Navy on mental health, sailors and their families visited information booths and attended presentations, according to a Navy news release.

The focus of the stand down was to teach sailors and military families to better recognize mental health concerns while also helping them to have conversations about mental health, Capt. Hamish Kirkland, chief of staff for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said in the release.

Naval Forces Central Command is currently participating in a pilot program throughout 5th Fleet to expand mental health services, including a walk-in clinic on the Bahrain naval station. The two-year pilot also introduces an intensive outpatient program.

Before the program, sailors and families could receive a week of inpatient treatment before needing to go back to the United States, according to the release. The pilot so far has decreased the number of people who would need to go back to the U.S. for services by 40 percent.

The release does not make it clear when the pilot began.

The standdown comes after the Navy released its Mental Health Playbook, which came shortly after the Department of Defense released its results from an independent review committee on suicide in the military.

The playbook gives leadership guidance on how to talk about mental health with sailors under their command, USNI News reported.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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