Non-Medical Services Offered at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti Through Military and Family Life Consultant Program

Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse
Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti , Sep 14, 2009 — Since its commencement in 2004, the Military & Family Life Consultant (MFLC) program has grown, with a representative on nearly every military installation stateside. Now the program has extended to other locations, including Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in Djibouti.

"For the first time, a MFLC program has been implemented in such a remote location as Camp Lemonnier on the continent of Africa," said Valerie Lubin, U.S. AFRICOM quality of life chief.

The MFLC program is intended to improve the quality of life for U.S. service members and their family members by providing "non-medical" services, which augment medical and mental health services already in place to combat relationship issues and crisis intervention. The MFLC consultants are not a part of the military chain of command and keep no records.

"The Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) has only one clinical counselor to serve the needs of Camp Lemonnier," said Jacqueline Chatman, a FFSC work and family life education specialist. "The MFLC program will augment the counseling services already available."

"The MFLC program will add an additional counselor that would be available to counsel service members on a variety issues ranging from grief, relationships, stress management, families and deployment," said Chatman. "The MFLC program allows for more confidentiality compared to the services of the FFSC."

Contact with a MFLC is anonymous with the exception of allegations made of harm to self, others, allegations of domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse.

At Camp Lemonnier, the consultant will be providing services not only to U.S. service members and civilians on station, but also to those supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa operations, said Lubin.

"The MFLC counselors normally go to where the service members are," said Chatman. "This is great for a service member who doesn't like the idea of walking into the FFSC."

One new service offers education, resources, and support to civilians, service members and their families.

"We hope that by placing this consultant here at Camp Lemonnier, it will be a gateway for other commanders to utilize MFLC at other locations around the world," said Lubin. "By making these services available to our deployed service members, this presents leaders an opportunity to expand the placement of MFLC in support of our service members."


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