Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Clinical Social Worker Provides Mental-Health Support on Remote Base

Image of Military personnel posing for a picture. Licensed clinical social worker, Navy Lt. Carlos Lopez, in the Branch Health Clinic aboard Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgrecrest, California. Lopez is on three-month temporary duty, providing mental health support for Weapons Station personnel and their families (Photo by: Dave Marks, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms, MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, California).

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE

Need someone to confide in? Join the crowd.

Mental health resources are in short supply in the midst of a pandemic that has isolated families, increased unemployment and significantly reduced social and outside activities that usually alleviate stress.

When the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgecrest, California, announced the arrival of a clinical social worker for a three-month working visit, the news rippled through the community like a harbinger of hope.

Navy Lt. Carlos Lopez arrived at the Branch Health Clinic, located aboard the Weapons Station, on June 1 for a three-month assignment. Lopez, assigned to Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms (the Branch Health Clinic's parent command), is on loan due to the heightened need.

"We've had a significant amount of trauma here," said Navy Capt. Jeremy Vaughan, commanding officer, NAWS China Lake. We've had the two earthquakes in 2019, and since July of 2020, we've had approximately 2,500 aftershocks of magnitude 2.5 or larger," he said. "Additionally, we test weapons here, with frequent explosions over the weekend. All of those things shake the population. Add that to the isolation of COVID-19 throughout the last 18 months and you've got a recipe for a large amount of counseling need here."

Lopez arrived at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms in mid-March, 2021 from a three-year stint in Japan, and has experience serving isolated populations. "A lot of what I saw over there were things like anxiety, insomnia, sleep-related issues, depression and isolation from being so far from loved ones," Lopez stated.

Lopez has served in the Navy for eight years, and earned his Master's degree in social work from California State University, Stanislaus.

"I wanted to serve my country in some way, shape or form," he said. "I'm from a family that is all Army and all enlisted, so becoming a naval officer was a change of course."

Lopez wants the community to understand the basic skills for resilience.

Adults should be getting six to nine hours of quality sleep per night, he explained. "If you're having trouble with that, I can provide tips that will help," he said. "Community" is the operative word, he noted. "It's all about having people you can talk to or go to when you're having a hard time, whether it's squadron, a faith-based group, neighbors or family."

Lopez also noted that people with severe and significant stressors that are unmanageable should make an appointment either with himself, or their chaplain to find strategies for moving forward.

Lopez wants prospective patients to know he relies on an evidence-based eight-twelve appointment regimen. "That number of appointments can be very helpful and provides traction," he said. "I'm going to have to find and identify goals for some quick progression as my time here is temporary. Part of the reason for my being here is to determine if there's an on-going need to establish a permanent position, he said"

"We're finding that families are craving and needing that one-on-one connection that you get with an in-person counseling session," said Hannah Moore, NAWS China Lake, public affairs officer. We have Lt. Lopez here for three months and we can say, listen, if you need help, there's somebody here for you now, she explained.

"It's total health well-being," added Moore. "We've got the pool open again, so families can swim. Now we have a mental-health professional here. We're really trying to take care of the whole person here at China Lake."

You also may be interested in...

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Current Events

Article
4/29/2022
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, public affairs specialist at Space Launch Delta 30, spends quality time with her son at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. We celebrate Month of the Military Child in April to celebrate military children whose parents serve the United States. (Photo: U.S. Space Force Airman 1st Class Kadielle Shaw)

Parents can help reassure children who are troubled by news events they see on TV and social media.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness

Helping Your Child to Cope with Grief and Losses Related to COVID-19

Article
4/28/2022
Shirley Lanham Elementary School students perform Taiko drumming during a Month of the Military Child celebration aboard the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ange-Olivier Clement, Naval Air Facility Atsugi)

Many military children have lost loved ones to COVID-19. How parents can help with the grief.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

How to Help Military Children Reconnect After Two Years of the Pandemic

Article
4/25/2022
Airman 1st Class Rocio Romo, Space Launch Delta 30 public affairs specialist, and her son pose for a photo at Cocheo Park on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, March 25, 2022. During the month of April, we celebrate Month of the Military Child to highlight the sacrifices military children make on the home front while their parents serve the United States. (Photo: Airman Kadielle Shaw, Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs)

How parents can help children stressed by more than two years of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Psychological Fitness | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources Provide Help: You Are Not Alone

Article
4/22/2022
Military personnel posing for a picture

Life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes life events—financial strain, relationships, isolation, emotional or sexual abuse, stress, and misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs—can lead to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide for some. It’s important to remember that you are not alone.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness

Policy Update: Significant Improvements to Mental and Behavioral Health Policies

Article Around MHS
4/4/2022
A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter flies over the sunset off the northern coast of Haiti in Nov. 2021

New updates to Coast Guard policy loosen restrictions and impacts on service members undergoing mental and behavioral health treatment for conditions including (but not limited to) anxiety and depressive disorders.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

Anger

Video
2/11/2022
Anger

A brief introduction on anger. How Anger can impact your life and the people around you.

Recommended Content:

Anger | Psychological Fitness

A Healthy Mind and Body: The Psychological Aspects Weight Loss

Article
1/27/2022
Marines with 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, participate in a regimental run to celebrate St. Barbara’s Day at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 13.

It’s essential to dispel the belief that weight loss is a reflection of willpower or discipline – basically, that you can’t lose weight because you don’t want to or you’re not trying hard enough.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Weight Management for Lasting Health

Six Immediate Health Benefits You Will See If You Lose a Little Weight

Article
1/14/2022
A soldier assigned to the 256th Combat Support Hospital, Twinsburg, Ohio, drinks water from a gallon-sized jug during Combat Support Training Exercise 18-03 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, March 26, 2018. The 256th CSH implemented a goal setting competition, dubbed Dandy Camp, to teach and encourage soldiers to monitor their total carbohydrate intake during the field exercise. The overall goal of Dandy Camp is to educate soldiers about healthy eating choices and encourage soldiers to set and meet goals for themselves.

Losing even a little weight now can have a major impact on your health and quality of life. This long list of benefits might help motivate you to adjust your habits to achieve a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Women's Health | Heart Health | Nutritional Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Sleep

Talking Seasonal Affective Disorder

Article Around MHS
1/4/2022
Military personnel staring out of the window

Holiday blues, seasonal depression, and other terms have been used to describe what is now known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and more often than not, many factors play a role on an individual’s ability to be affected by this disorder each year around the holidays.

Recommended Content:

Depression | Psychological Fitness

Three Free Holiday Gifts That Boost Well-Being

Article
12/14/2021
Image of soldier holding a letter.

Gift giving is a fun and meaningful part of many cultures during the holidays. Try giving 3 “different” gifts to boost the well-being of the recipient and improve your well-being too. Best of all? They’re 100% free!

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Stress

Ask the Doc: How Do I Get Rid of the 'Dark Cloud' Over My Holidays?

Article
12/13/2021
A mask hanging on a Christmas tree

Doc talks to Jane Olien, a licensed clinical social worker assigned to Behavioral Health Clinical Operations, part of the DHA’s Medical Affairs/Clinical Support Division, in San Antonio, Texas, about combatting feelings of depression around the holidays.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Ask The Doc

Why Less Sunlight in the Wintertime Can Put You at Risk of Depression

Article
12/7/2021
Airman in winter gear carry deployment gear at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska in preparation for Operation Polar Force exercise

Seasonal Affective Disorder signs and treatments

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness

People First priority for BJACH Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention Program

Article Around MHS
12/1/2021
Chuck Satterfield and Staff Sgt. Lori Fury hosting a training

Behavioral health professionals from Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital conducted leadership development training with the 519th Military Police Battalion at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana in mid-November.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

Healing Is An Art, Art is Healing: Exhibit Highlights the Healing Power of Art

Article Around MHS
11/10/2021
Service members look at art included in the Healing Arts Exhibit on display throughout November at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Healing is an art, and art is healing was the sentiments shared among those who attended the opening ceremony for the 18th Annual Healing Arts Exhibit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Oct. 27.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 9
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 04, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.