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Utah National Guard offering resources with the current Afghanistan news

FILE: Members of the Utah National Guard deployed to Washington D.C. in Jan. 2021. Guard leaders sent a letter to members after the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, providing mental health resources and support. Photo courtesy of KSL 5 TV

DRAPER, Utah — The Utah National Guard is offering resources for its members and families after the new developments in Afghanistan. This was addressed in a letter from Maj. Gen. Michael Turley and Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer Nielsen.

With the current events in Afghanistan, officials worried about the possible effect on service men and women. The Utah leaders wanted to make sure their service members who served in the region receive the support they need. 

Utah National Guard offers suggestions to support members

Leaders suggested several ways for service members to support each other. Their behavioral health team recommended the following advice:

  1. Reach out to your wingman/battle buddy and support each other.
  2. Engage in positive activities that are healthy, meaningful, and of service.
  3. Limit media exposure if it triggers distress.
  4. Avoid ineffective coping methods, such as excessive alcohol use.

Resources available for Guard members and their families

In the statement, the following resources were offered through the Utah National Guard Health Program:

  • Caroline Searcy, ARNG Provider, 801-432-4579
  • Ken Francis, ARNG Provider, 801-432-4578
  • Annika Hunt, ANG Provider, 801-245-2210

Utah National Guard Chaplain Corps:

  • LTC Gene Whitmore, 801-432-4409
  • Vets 4 Warriors, non-profit Veteran support hotline: 855-838-8255,
  • Utah National Guard Safety App: download the Safe UTNG app to your mobile device
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255

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