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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Sailors host stress management training for mental wellness

by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Levi Decker, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic Public Affairs and Outreach
31 January 2024 PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Sailors assigned to Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFL) hosted a Sailor 360 stress management training for mental wellness on board Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads – Portsmouth Annex, Jan. 24, 2024.
The training began with a presentation of resources available locally to Sailors to assist with stress management and the life factors that cause stress. Sailors then participated in breathing exercises and stress relief exercises consisting of sand gardens, putty, croqueted stress balls and calming music.
“When we were discussing the idea for this training, originally we wanted to coincide with the monthly theme, stress management seemed obvious,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Mykayla Mack-Allen, an assistant reserve program director assigned to NMFL. “Stress affects how a person functions. If you are overly stressed, you can’t do the best you can at work. Getting to the bottom of that and learning to manage that will help you move forward in life and be the best Sailor you can be.”
The training finished with a visit from two service dogs, Capt. Patty and Capt. Charlie, and their handler Cmdr. Tracy Krauss, the officer in charge and public health specialty leader of Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (NMRTU) Norfolk.
“Dogs have a unique ability to draw Sailors out and get them to talk about their problems,” explained Krauss. “Working with Patty and Charles, I can instantly see how what they do impacts the Sailors, it’s instant gratification and incredibly rewarding.”
Sailor 360 is a program that gives leaders the flexibility to tailor existing source material to fit their needs. The program allows Sailors of all ranks to speak candidly towards improving their personal and professional cooperation and focus on specific topics of training to support professional development.

“I think this has been one of the most effective trainings that we've had in quite a while, and maybe that I've seen ever since this program started,” concluded Senior Chief Personnel Specialist Carson Seibert, the command climate specialist assigned to NMFL. “The tools that they had and then bringing on the dogs itself was amazing. [The team] went over everything in there, from the importance of stress management and what stress does to everything or how it affects everyone. It was well made and well executed.”

NMFL, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, delivers operationally focused medical expertise and capabilities to meet Fleet, Marine and Joint Force requirements by providing equipment, sustainment and maintenance of medical forces during combat operations and public health crises. NMFL provides oversight for 21 NMRTCs, logistics, and public health and dental services throughout the U.S. East Coast, U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba, Europe, and the Middle East.

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