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Helping agencies adapt to bolster resilience during pandemic

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Juliet Louden
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

As COVID-19 has changed the way people live and communicate with one another, Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s helping agencies have stepped up to the challenge and continue to help Airmen in this difficult time.

“The base helping agencies are all still available and there is no reduction in services,” said Terri Ann Naughton, Director of Psychological Health for the 910th Airlift Wing. “Nothing has changed except we communicate in other ways than in person.”

During this pandemic, Naughton recommends focusing on four elements of well-being.

“You have to address heart, mind, body and soul to live a healthy COVID-19 existence,” said Naughton.

YARS offers various options to meet all four needs.

Shelly Trimble, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the 910th AW, offers iRest online twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. iRest is a 30-minute session that relaxes the body and mind and helps alleviate stress and increase resiliency.

“It is important to keep people engaged and resilient even though we are geographically separated,” said Trimble. “COVID-19 has made it possible for me to come up with innovative ideas to communicate with others despite not seeing people face-to-face. We are all here for our Airmen.”

Another option for relaxation is Yoga on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. and is hosted by Karen Hazel-Johnson, Violence Prevention Integrator for the 910th AW.

“Both iRest and Yoga are available using a government Zoom link, which can be found in the UTA drop box on the main 910th AW SharePoint page,” said Naughton.

The chaplain’s office is still available to Airmen if they need someone to talk with confidentially.

“My phone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Majors, Chaplain’s Assistant for the 910th AW. “If you call the office phone, it goes straight to my number. You don’t have to be on base to speak to me. I am a phone call away.”

Airmen and Family Readiness services are still available and can be found on the 910th AW SharePoint site.

“We are still here to help, and employers are still hiring,” said Jim Naughton, Airmen and Family Readiness director for the 910th AW. “All programs are still available. It is business as usual, just done remotely.”

The 910th Medical Squadron has several Airmen who have deployed to the front line of the COVID-19 fight, entitling them to Yellow Ribbon benefits.

“Yellow Ribbon entitlements are offered to COVID-19 responders,” said Master Sgt. Skye Tancer, 910th AW Yellow Ribbon coordinator. “Upon returning home, the responders will be able to attend one Yellow Ribbon event.”

There are also many services provided for mental health during this stressful time. Military One Source is an example that offers free counseling.

Links to other services can be found in Air Force Connect app. After downloading the app, select 910th Airlift Wing as a favorite, then navigate to the COVID-19 feature and the PHAP section.

“If a group or individual needs something, they have great people in front of them,” said Terri Ann Naughton. “If we don’t have the answer, we will find someone who does.”