By NAVCENT/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
| May 26, 2022
210802-N-IG466-0063 MANAMA, Bahrain (August 2, 2021) File photo of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces headquarters on Naval Support Activity Bahrain. (U.S. Navy photo) (Photo by NAVCENT Public Affairs)
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has expanded mental health care treatment options for service and family members in the U.S. 5th Fleet region as part of a two-year pilot program launched in February.
The pilot program is part of ongoing efforts by NAVCENT leaders to expand care options for service members and their families stationed in Bahrain or throughout the region.
“We are truly trying to help our service members and families conquer their mental health issues,” said Capt. Miguel Cubano, NAVCENT’s force surgeon. “Our goal is to provide the best possible mental health care.”
Under the pilot program, service members and families experiencing acute mental health problems can now receive up to a month of inpatient care, as well as intensive outpatient care, from community-based providers in Bahrain.
Previously, service and family members could receive approximately a week of inpatient mental health care in theater while awaiting return to the United States, and intensive outpatient care was not available.
NAVCENT launched the pilot program after a September review of mental health care options available to service members and families in theater. Leaders identified an opportunity to expand options available to service members and families for treatment in theater.
“As leaders, we want our service members and family members experiencing mental health problems to receive the help they need to excel in their personal lives and professional careers,” Cubano said.
As part of the program, military and community-based mental health providers now meet weekly to discuss patient care. Depending on each patient’s progress and diagnosis, military mental health providers factor in these discussions when making decisions concerning further treatment
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 21 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.