COSC team trains ROKAF, ROKA in PTSD care

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members of Osan's chaplain corps, mental health and legal professionals traveled to Taejon Air Base, Republic of Korea, to share their expertise with ROK air force and army counterparts, July 3.

The group met with 61 personnel to help them formulate a new, holistic approach to diagnosing and treating service members with post-traumatic stress disorder and other related issues.

Capt. Rachel Duchoslav, 51st Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health officer in charge, said recent events prompted ROK military officials to examine their resources for service members.

"In light of things like the Sewol ferry sinking and a shooting at one of their bases, they wanted training on PTSD and trauma response," Duchoslav said.

Formerly known as traumatic stress response, the U.S. military now classifies PTSD care as combat operations stress control or disaster mental health, depending on if it developed as a result of something that took place during a deployment or at a home duty station.

Chaplain (Capt.) Myung Cho, a 51st Fighter Wing chaplain, said since U.S. military members have traditionally deployed more frequently than ROK military members, the U.S. model was a good starting point for ROK forces.

"They don't have operational readiness exercises or deploy as often, so they have less experience with PTSD and other things related to deployments," Cho said.

Airmen have access to several different resources which allows them to receive well-rounded treatment, and also prevents one group from having to shoulder the entire weight.

"I think right now the ROK chaplains are doing most of the care, whereas we have segmented responsibilities," Cho said.

Capt. Jonathan Doti, 8th MDOS Mental Health flight commander, Kunsan AB, ROK, was impressed at the request for help, and thinks the exchange of information can be a two-way
street.

"I think it was very open-minded of them to ask us to come and share our process with them," Doti said. "We could sit here all day and talk about building relationships with them, but until you actually do it you don't truly understand it."

To seek help for combat stress or other issues related to military life, call the base Chapel at 784-5000, Mental Health at 784-2148, the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 784-5440, or one of Osan's military and family life consultants at 010-8672-9055.

Additional resources can be found by visiting the 51st Medical Group's web page.