The hospital at Naval Air Station Jacksonville is adding an eight bed in-patient behavioral health unit to better help service men and women suffering from acute mental illness.
Naval Hospital Jacksonville commander, Captain Matthew Case, said the new center is a big step for the Navy base. “Opening a state of the art facility sends a message to the sailors, airmen, Marines in the area that we are committed to support them. So it helps further break any kind of stigma with mental health. So that’s one of the reasons why this is so important.”
Because the goal of treatment is to help people return to work, an in-patient facility is especially valuable for active-duty personnel.
“Knowing their triggers, their stressors that they deal with on a daily basis [is helpful]. Additionally, knowing what medications that they can still be on active duty and serve with … which is sometimes tricky for the network hospitals,” said hospital mental health director and psychiatrist, Captain Tracy Skipton,
After its ribbon cutting Friday, the new facility will begin accepting patients early next month. It joins an existing out-patient mental health service on the base.