Family Advocacy helps Airmen with self-care

(Courtesy photo)

The 375th Medical Group Family Advocacy Program hosts many classes, including Baby Safety 101, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to promote a healthy lifestyle for Airmen. The program’s prevention services, such as classes, workshops and events, are free and open to base personnel. They are also voluntary without command notification or documentation in one’s medical records. (Courtesy photo)

Child hands food to family advocacy program nurse

A 375th Medical Group Family Advocacy Program nurse uses positive reinforcement when an Airman’s child shares his food with her in O’Fallon, Ill., June 24, 2019. Family advocacy offers at-home visits to track a child’s development as well as make suggestions associated with their level of ability, such as things to baby proof around the house. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Miranda Simpson)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.—“Wellness is important. We want to make sure you are well with yourself so you can be well with others. We work together. We have to take care of each other. We are one force.”

This is what Mauranda Bembry shares as she teaches others about self-care. She is an intervention specialist with the 375th Medical Group’s Family Advocacy Program, whose primary mission is to help build positive family relationships and prevent family maltreatment.

Bembry said it’s important for Airmen to invest time in the mind, body and spirit when practicing self-care. She explains how the Family Advocacy Program helps Airmen work toward that overall wellness.

“We provide an array of supportive services from events, to classes, to workshops and counselling. I really want to emphasize our prevention services. It’s free, it’s open to base personnel and it’s completely voluntary without command notification or without documentation in one’s medical records.”

The program offers support for people needing help with relationships, anger management, emotional intelligence or parenting.

“I started going to Family Advocacy right after I found out I was pregnant,” said Senior Airman Kylie Walker, 375th Air Mobility Wing broadcast journalist. “With my child’s father not in the picture, they provided me the support that I needed in counselling sessions, so I was able to go there and work through some of the stress and emotions I was feeling. They also helped me prepare for what to do after my son was born.”

Walker’s son is over a year old now, and Family Advocacy continues to help her when needed. They even make home visits to track his development and make suggestions associated with his level of ability, such as things around the house that should be baby proofed.

Bembry said there should not be a stigma when it comes to Airmen receiving any type of help, whether it be advice for new parents or even support for domestic abuse victims.

To best assist victims, Family Advocacy has a domestic abuse victim advocate who is available at all times at (618) 307-0980. They offer both restricted and unrestricted reporting options.

“Safety is a priority,” said Bembry. “Family Advocacy’s No. 1 goal is safety. We want to make sure that everyone is safe, and we will do everything in our power to maintain that.”