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NEWS | May 5, 2020

Mental Health Awareness at forefront of mission for Employee Services Center, new hire

By Ms. Katie Nolan and Ms. Danielle Weinschenk

May 1 marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month.  Created in 1948, the observance is designed to raise awareness of mental health and its importance for all.  According to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide is affected by a mental health issue or disorder.

Tobyhanna Army Depot has long embraced the importance of mental health and has full-spectrum support available for employees 24/7.  The Employee Services Center (ESC) is led by Eva Granville, whose team provides short-term mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and referral services, crisis intervention, and sexual assault support/advocacy.  A 24/7 crisis hotline is also available for emergency situations.

The ESC recently added a new staff member, Brittany Anderson, who joined Team Tobyhanna as the new Community Support Advocate earlier this year.  Originally from New Jersey, Anderson moved to Northeastern Pennsylvania to complete her graduate degree.  She found herself on the path to a counseling career after being inspired by others in the field.

“I had the privilege of having several really passionate role models who work in the field,” said Anderson. “Each one of them has inspired me to fine tune my own individual qualities in ways that can benefit all of the people around me.”

As a board certified clinical counselor, Anderson specializes in helping individuals dealing with divorce, custody agreements, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  She continues to pursue certification as a trauma therapist and in treatment modalities for PTSD.  She also has several years of training in domestic violence and sexual assault cases, which has familiarized her with county court systems and family law.  But Anderson will tell you that her main focus has always been client empowerment.

“I believe strongly in the pursuit of happiness,” she said, “It’s my focus to help empower clients to remove obstacles and determine their path to happiness and peace of mind.”

For individuals unsure of how to get started with counseling, Anderson provides initial sessions and assessment to help identify the areas of a person’s life that would benefit from targeted therapy. From there, follow-up counseling is provided and decisions can be made about what steps seem appropriate for a client to take.  She is available for collaboration and encouragement while making these difficult decisions.

“These services are low pressure - coming for just one meeting does not lock you in,” said Anderson, adding that services are tailored to each individual’s needs.

In addition to these assessments, depression and anxiety screenings are available from Anderson and the ESC.  Employees can send an email or call to receive a screening. Screenings can be done in person or over the phone.

“Many of us are so used to our own emotional climate, we may not even realize we are experiencing depression and anxiety,” notes Anderson. She sees Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to check in with ourselves.

In her free time, Anderson is an avid reader and has an ever-growing list of hobbies, which includes painting, gardening, collecting stones and crystals, and training her dogs. She also enjoys running and is a certified yoga instructor.

“My goals are fluid - when I see a need, I add it to my goals,” said Anderson. “As I join Team Tobyhanna, I am beginning to devise new goals around what could be helpful for employee health and wellness.”

The services of the ESC are available to all Department of Defense employees and their immediate family members.  For more information, call the ESC office at (570) 615-8873 or 1 (272) 219-8186.