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New counseling resource arrives at Vance

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Military and family life consultants have provided short-term, non-medical counseling to service members and their families to augment existing military support programs worldwide since 2004. The MFLC program is now at Vance Air Force Base.

A licensed clinical provider is here to assist service members and their families with a range of issues including: relationships, crisis intervention, stress management, grief, occupational and other individual and family issues. The provider also assists families through every phase of deployment - from leaving loved ones and possibly living and working in harm's way to reintegrating with community and family.

"This program is a great service the Air Force has to offer. It fills a niche of sub-clinical counseling- if the person needs more, the consultants are trained to make the appropriate referrals, " explained Maj. Ronald Johnson, chief of Mental Health Services.

A MFLC provider rotates in every 45 days and keeps no records of sessions or who they met with. The MFLC primarily works out of the Airman & Family Readiness Center, but is available to meet with individuals and couples on or off base and after duty hours.

"This program is not meant to replace existing base services, but the flexibility and anonymity of the program provides a unique supplement to what the A&FRC, mental health, chapel and other agencies provide," said Greg Waide, A&FRC community readiness consultant. "Knowing that you can talk to someone about issues and everything you talk about leaves the base with that consultant within 45 days may create a less threatening avenue of communication for some people."

While conversations are confidential, the MFLC is required to report child abuse, domestic abuse and duty to warn situations. Also, a hand-off occurs with other agencies when an individual's issue is long term or clinical in nature. People can reach a MFLC at 574-4892.