First-aid mental health training rolls into ALS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kevin Martinez
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

As the Air Force changed from traditional mental health care to Targeted Care Mountain Home Air Force Base had to adapt in order to ensure Gunfighters are fit to fight.


This pushed the Gunfighter Airman Leadership School to implement a mental health first-aid course to give new first line supervisors the skills they need to better identify symptoms of mental disorders and how to provide the first steps of help. The ALS students will come out of the course mental health first-aid certified and prepared to help their Airmen.


A study done by the U.S. Air Force Medical Readiness Agency from 2014 to 2019 determined that the number of active-duty personnel seeking mental health care had increased dramatically. Targeted Care aims to improve patient experience and access to mental health and other non-medical resources in order to ensure mission readiness.


“Having supervisors more aware of all available resources out there will help begin the vectoring process before Airmen walk into our clinic,” said Capt. Taylor Zurlinden, 366th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron licensed psychologist.


Zurlinden said that the training given to ALS students as part of the mental health first-aid course will help individuals better utilize their resources and connect them to the most efficient and effective care.


“Now that they have the skills they need to go out there and practice it,” said Master Sgt. Carolina Angulo, 366th Force Support Squadron Gunfighter Airman Leadership School interim commandant. “Knowing that they shouldn’t doubt themselves and support one another will be crucial moving forward.”


As part of the four pillars of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness framework, mental fitness gives Airmen the ability to cope with mental stressors and ensures Gunfighters are always ready to execute the mission.