NEWS | Sept. 9, 2021

Tobyhanna Employee Services Center offers short-term counseling, resources for workforce

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Tobyhanna Employee Services Center offers short-term counseling, resources for workforce | Article | The United States Army

When employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot experience a mental health issue, they don’t need to look far for help. The depot’s Employee Services Center (ESC) is available to provide short-term counseling and support for a variety of issues.

The ESC mission focuses on prevention, education, training and short-term counseling in the areas of substance abuse, suicide, sexual assault, and employee work/life well-being.  All services are confidential and take place on post.

Brittany Anderson, the ESC’s Community Support Advocate, is a board-certified clinical counselor who specializes in family situations as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She outlined the distinction between ESC services and the traditional mental health care model.

“Our services are not intended for long-term mental health treatment. Instead, we offer members of Team Tobyhanna brief, solution-focused counseling. During sessions, we work with clients to help them balance their stress and create a foundation for their next steps,” she said, adding that clients with issues that require long-term treatment are referred out to therapists and/or services in the community which are tailored to meet employee needs.  But ESC support doesn’t stop once a referral is made.

“Even after referral, we maintain contact and offer follow-ups to ensure Tobyhanna Army Depot is an environment that supports employees during their times of need. We want to ensure employees know that we’re here as they move on to the next step of their journey,” Anderson said.

“At the end of counseling, we hope our clients leave with an improved quality of life and the ability to address their challenge. Team Tobyhanna - if you need help, please reach out. We will never turn anyone away.”

The ESC is led by Tobyhanna newcomer Ricardo Horn. Horn is a licensed social worker who earned his Master’s Degree from the Marywood University School of Social Work, where he continues to provide support as an adjunct professor. As the Chief of the ESC, he oversees formal programs such as the Employee Assistance Program, Army Substance Abuse Program, and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program.  Horn also joins Anderson in providing mental health care to depot employees – a growing mission for the ESC team, one Horn says he hopes more people utilize in the future.

“Despite the prevalence of mental illness in America, the stigma associated with counseling still prevents many people from getting the help they need,” said Horn. “Mental health awareness is important because it brings attention, focusing on the potential for recovery.”

He adds, “Seeking help is a sign of courage and should never be viewed as a weakness or personal shortcoming.”

According to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide is affected by a mental health issue or disorder.

The services of the ESC are available to all Department of Defense employees and their immediate family members.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the ESC office at (570) 615-8873. If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the ESC Hotline at (570) 615-5591.