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Tags: military | quarantine | mental

Military Plagued by Quarantine-Related Mental Issues

military soldiers salute a vet
Army soldiers salute during tributes following the drive-by birthday party for World War II veteran Lt. Colonel Sam Sachs, who turned 105 today, amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 26, 2020 in Lakewood, California.   (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2020 09:13 PM EDT

America’s military is becoming concerned about the mental effect coronavirus is having on our soldiers, airmen, sailors and their families.

Whether stationed stateside or overseas, military members and their loved ones are finding it mentally difficult to cope in the age of quarantine, especially when a service member is called away and families have to handle quarantine on their own.

At the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, fewer than 30 service members out of 50,000 stationed at the base have tested positive for coronavirus. How many cases there are remains unknown, since Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered the military to stop announcing numbers of cases at specific installations, Stars and Stripes reports.

However, there is no doubt that the shelter-in-place orders in effect have caused some mental health problems.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ethan Hisquierdo assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh told Stars and Stripes, “I’m not depressed, but I drink a lot more to try to put myself to sleep. You can only watch so much Netflix.”

At the Yokota Air Base, a public health emergency was declared, limiting base residents to their homes, on or off base, their workplaces and essential services, through June 30.

Maj. Bryan Vralsted commented to Stars and Stripes in an email, “Undoubtedly, this is a difficult time for all of us, and individuals who notice that their symptoms are failing to improve or worsening over time are encouraged to reach out and use the services available to them.

“Some families are using this time to connect meaningfully in a beneficial manner,” he said, “while others are learning that they may have some work to do on communication or spending quality time together.”

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center in Virginia Beach was seeing just over a dozen patients in telehealth services, but today, that number has leapt to 300, including veterans and active duty military and families seeking mental health services, the Daily Press reported.

Telehealth has become a lifeline for people,” Sarah Pitzen, the clinic’s interim director and lead clinician, said.  “The need is greater overall.”

She noted that military call-ups increase a sense of uncertainty.

“Within our own staff, we’ve seen the impact of service members being called at a moment’s notice, leaving behind their family members,” she said.

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America's military is becoming concerned about the mental effect coronavirus is having on our soldiers, airmen, sailors and their families....
military, quarantine, mental
Tuesday, 05 May 2020 09:13 PM
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