Life skills tackles daily life issues

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y.- Major Chris Lascala, 914th ASTS, Life Skills (left), counsels an injured (simulated) troop during a recent wing training exercise.  (Photo by: Tech. Sgt. David Allen 914th Airlift Wing PA)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y.- Major Chris Lascala, 914th ASTS, Life Skills (left), counsels an injured (simulated) troop during a recent wing training exercise. (Photo by: Tech. Sgt. David Allen 914th Airlift Wing PA)

Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, NY -- While the 914th ASTS is known best for caring to the unit members’ physical needs, a small group within the squadron is working to ensure that troops’ mental needs are met, also.

The six members of the Life Skills, formerly known as Behavioral Health, are best known as the folks who give the monthly suicide briefings. Beyond that, they work to meet all of the unit‘s mental health needs.

“We address daily life issues, to make our troops more resiliant to stress, able to function better in pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment,” said Psych Nurse Major Chris Lascala.

“We do preventative services while on reserve duty. We assess and refer,” adds NCOIC Master Sergeant Rich Barham, who, like many of the Life Skills staff, has a civilian counseling background. “We team with the chaplain and Family Readiness. We provide critical stress management for people who come back from the combat theatre. and work with the families of the deployed.”

Life Skills is available for unit members who are having trouble adjusting to the stress of military or civilian life. Although a growing number of people are taking advantage of their services, the Life Skills members would like to keep reminding everyone that they are available.

“We don’t treat here, but we will link people up to the civilian help they need,” said Maj. Lascala.

“We’re there in case people need help,” said MSgt. Barham

For more information, call ext. 6342.