PHILIPPINE SEA –
The Deployed Resiliency Counselor (DRC) contracted to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) visited the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), April 6.
Nandranie “Nan” Busjit-Bhalai, a licensed clinical social worker, licensed in Florida, provided non-medical individual counseling sessions, therapy, psychoeducational and support groups, workshops and training to the crew.
Members of the Command Resiliency Team (CRT) on Mobile Bay coordinated a visit with Nan to provide the ship an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the services of a licensed clinician and demystify the range of holistic resources she offers for Sailors. Abraham Lincoln also has two licensed psychologists aboard, allowing Mobile Bay Sailors and the other ships in the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to access needed care.
“Usually the small boats will send a Sailor in distress to the carrier temporarily to receive mental health services,” Nan said. “We all agreed it was a great idea to have me come here, where I can provide services to as many Sailors as possible and give those who were unsure about receiving services an up close look at the process to promote use.”
In the workshops she provided, Nan covered a wide variety of topics, including stress management and coping strategies, anger management, mindfulness, mental fitness, healthy relationships, effective communication, leadership coaching and managing grief and loss. She also held focus groups for single Sailors and parents to help address both shipboard concerns and challenges that arise at home.
“Something very important to provide Sailors on a platform where they don’t always have access to a licensed clinician are the tools to help themselves,” Nan said. “I was particularly adamant about ensuring I was able to train on a holistic approach to stress and depression in the hopes of empowering Sailors by demystifying these often-misrepresented topics.”
Nan was granted Navy Tier 3 credentials, a requirement to practice mental health services onboard Navy vessels as well as at shore-based facilities. As a DRC, she is trained to provide trauma therapy for clients who have experienced sexual assault, administer cognitive-behavioral therapy for personnel displaying suicide ideation, and give advice and counsel on command mental health matters and promotion of wellness.
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.