Goodbye, Morongo Basin Mental Health

I had a tearful farewell today with my team at the Military Family Support Program–the Twentynine Palms office of the now-defunct Morongo Basin Mental Health. These folks have been great to work with. When I was hired six months ago the office was like a graveyard, and by the time we got the word that MBMH was shutting down, we were so busy we needed a second clinician.

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Jackie, Heather, Laura, me, Jennifer

I’m just as sad to leave our clients, but of course I can’t post pictures of them here. Our office had come to feel like a little community center, with people of all ages coming and going all day.

I am assured by those in charge at the county that there will be a military family support program up and running again soon–probably in about a month. I believe them. They all seem enthusiastic about the project and on the ball. When that happens I will definitely apply for the job again. It has been good work.

[First published on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, June 27, 2013.]

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I Have a New Job

I am now working at Morongo Basin Mental Health, as a therapist for their Military Services and Family Support Program in Twentynine Palms. It’s a cool program, offering free and confidential individual, couple, and family therapy for active duty or recently retired military personnel and their families–basically anyone with a military ID.

I had no idea that this kind of thing was going on. It’s fully funded (by San Bernardino County, I believe) so that cost is no bar to getting help for military families, who can sometimes struggle financially. And it’s fully confidential, unlike the mental health services on base. There is a widespread and not necessarily irrational belief among service members that seeking support is not good for your career.

I’m happy to be part of this program. (And it’s a trip to be working down the street from my alma mater, 29 Palms Jr. High!) The only downside is that MSFSP is severely underused right now. We could be helping several times the number of people we are now. If you are in the Morongo Basin, please spread the word!

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Morongo Basin Mental Health Services

Military Services and Family Support Program

5910 Adobe Road, Suite A

Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

(760) 361-7124

[First published on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, January 6, 2013.]