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News | May 24, 2023

CRDAMC offers Mental Health Awareness Information Fair

By Rodney Jackson, CRDAMC Public Affairs

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s behavioral health team hosted a Mental Health Awareness Month Information Fair for beneficiaries and staff members May 19.
The fair was designed to provide patrons with information on resources available to them not only at the hospital, but throughout the surrounding community.
Partner hospitals and organizations joined the behavioral health team to offer information that will help if unforeseen circumstances give beneficiaries a sudden need for support or if there are ongoing behaviors that may require attention.
“We want the families to know that we are here for them and that we have services available here at the hospital for children, adolescents and families,” said Michelle Aguayo, outreach coordinator child and family behavioral health, CRDAMC.
CRDAMC does not have inpatient services to hospitalize children, so it relies on its community partners to do that, she added.
According to, the Department of Defense launched an initiative to remove language from its policies, regulations and instruction that stigmatizes mental health conditions and discourages service members from seeking help late last year.
There are several options available to beneficiaries, whether through organizations on the installation, through military one source, or other community partners. 
Aguayo recommended that family members should start with their primary care manager if they think there is a problem related to mental health, especially for children.
“Sometimes there are physiological problems that occur and need to be identified before being referred to mental health, and primary care managers can diagnose adolescents that may have problems with ADHD, depression or anxiety and refer them to behavioral health for additional services e.g., therapeutic counseling, family or group therapy,” she said.
Active-duty members should also start with primary care managers but have the options of embedded behavioral health clinics with walk-in hours or Military Family Life Counselors.
One community organization available for free professional counseling and family support is STARRY. It provides free counseling services for children and families.
We offer support for small children, but six to seventeen years of age is the normal range for support according to Courtney Jets, family support specialist, STARRY.
Jets also pointed out that the organization also offers a fatherhood program to build strong dads through community, connection and counseling, for male caregivers that are fathers, grandparents, or uncles.
Visit STARRY at for more information and CRDAMC to learn more about mental and behavioral health services at
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