The door to emotional wellness

  • Published
  • By Airman Anabel Del Valle
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The holidays are a joyous time for many of Tyndall’s Airmen and families, but for others they can lead to increased depression.

With the holiday blues right around the corner, it is important to remember Tyndall offers a variety of resources to ensure no Airman is left feeling alone.

“The mental health clinic is comprised of professional individuals who truly care about your well-being,” said Maj. Stephen Marcoux, psychiatrist at the 325th Medical Group mental health clinic. “We provide a safe and private setting for all evaluations and treatment. A visit to our clinic will always involve respect, sensitivity, and compassion, and will begin your path to healing.”

A visit to the chaplain is another option to relieve these stressors. Though it is not often spoken about, feeling alone during the holiday season is normal. Traveling, celebrating without a loved one, or even changing weather can trigger an emotional reaction.

 “We simply offer a safe non-judgmental space and a listening ear,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Juchter. “The 100% confidential communication that Chaplains and religious affairs Airmen provide offers a place for Airmen and dependents to take whatever is going on inside and get it out, where it is easier to work through.”

Maintaining a positive mindset and staying physically active are crucial elements of promoting a healthy mental state.

 “Staying connected to people and not withdrawing too much is good,” said Juchter. “Get good exercise and take advantage of what sunlight you can. Find a routine while normal home life is disrupted for a couple of weeks.”

Keeping an eye out for wingmen is sure to increase emotional wellness and awareness across Tyndall’s community.

“The status of an individual’s mental health impacts every realm of emotion and cognition, including how an individual sees the world, themselves, and others around them,” said Marcoux. “Some of the most common signs that someone is struggling with emotional wellness involve social withdrawal, fatigue, lack of interest, worsened focus, less motivation, and increased anger.”

Although these are common indicators for depression, every person will handle their emotions differently.

“The biggest step in emotional wellness is walking through the door—whether mine, mental health’s or some other agency’s threshold, and asking for help,” said Juchter. “We rarely hesitate to see our primary care physician when something hurts physically but can be reluctant to reach out when our hearts and heads hurt. My best advice to anyone who might be suffering, whether a little or a lot, is to walk through the door.”

For more information or help with mental health, call the 325th Fighter Wing chaplain corps at 850-283-3397 or the 325th Medical Group mental health clinic at 850-283-7511.