MFLCs are the first line of defense – focused on prevention and keeping troops in the fight – mission focused and family ready. MHNGS MFLCS will:
- Provide immediate, confidential, unfettered access to support for any member of the military community. With confidentiality as a bedrock principle, the MFLC program reduces the stigma of seeking help for the common stressors of military life, enabling proactive engagement to facilitate mission focus and family readiness.
- Care for whole family. MFLCs are available to service members, spouses and military children, as well as other military dependents. Knowing that the stressors of military life don’t end when troops leave the base, MFLCs support total readiness by serving the entire military community.
- Advise leaders on the prevalent issues impacting the force and recommend techniques to address those issues in a proactive fashion. MFLCs can facilitate discussion groups, workshops, peer support forums and other innovative engagements; acting in support of command priorities to support emergent issues or address the common stressors of military life.
How are we different: The story of “Sgt Smith”:
Often it is helpful to view our impact through the lens of vignettes that bring to life the unique power of our program. One such snapshot is the fictional story of “Sgt Smith:”
Sgt Smith is a stellar Marine – throughout his career he has been a top performer and has risen quickly through the ranks to become one of the key NCOs in the unit. Recently Sgt Smith’s leaders have noticed a marked change in his behavior. Suddenly and without explanation Sgt Smith has been showing up late for work; his focus has declined and he is missing targets he never used to miss. He’s still performing at an acceptable level – nothing is overtly wrong – but his leaders know something is off.
When they ask Sgt Smith he seems ashamed and acknowledges his declining performance, stating his “alarm clock has been acting up” and he “hasn’t been sleeping as well” due to the combination of high op-tempo and the demands of young kids at home. Not knowing what to do, his 1stSgt and Captain decide to refer him to the battalion’s embedded MFLC – someone they know and trust. They “prep the battlefield” by talking with the MFLC about Sgt Smith during a routine interaction in the battalion area, and while they may never know if he sought help or not, Sgt Smith is provided an outlet that is immediately available to him to address his issues: no red-tape, no appointments, no records.
Because the unit’s embedded MFLC has also “prepped the battlefield” by working tirelessly to develop strong bonds with all members of the unit – building “trust equity” through routine interactions – Sgt Smith feels comfortable taking the advice of his leadership. To Sgt Smith it’s not a “counseling session,” it’s just a conversation with someone he knows and trusts in order to engage in some mental fitness development. Knowing that services are confidential relieves Sgt Smith’s concerns about potential career impacts based on seeking support during a period of force reductions.
After Sgt Smith talks with the MFLC, he develops a plan to address his issues in a proactive fashion, ensuring his career and family are not negatively impacted by the challenges he faces. MFLC support is provided to Sgt Smith during the normal course of his daily routine – keeping him with his unit and in the fight – and he soon returns to his previous level of high performance. In the future, Sgt Smith will be able to refer the junior Marines of his unit to the MFLC based on his positive experience.
Want to learn more about innovative methods to provide support and be a “force multiplier?” Visit our Resources section to hone your skillset: Resources