Since September 11, 2001, more than 13,000 Soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard have participated in deployments, taking them away from their families, employers and communities. Many of these families have dealt with multiple deployments, some as many as five or more times. As the toll of deployment mounts, service members and their family members face numerous problems such as financial strain, marital conflict, substance abuse, loss of a loved one, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, homelessness, Traumatic Brain Injury, mental illness and thoughts of suicide. Air Force General Craig McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, discussed these stressors at a Senate hearing:
“The stresses, the strains, the financial difficulties, the times we live in, the stress on the family, the fact that we've had continuous rotations, obviously have created an environment where many of our young soldiers and airmen struggle, … ” McKinley said. “Our deploying soldiers and airmen are facing challenges that none of us … certainly ever did in our military careers.”
When help is needed, service members can call 1–800–511–6944 and get a live voice at any time. The Helpline is staffed by Veterans and Masters level counselors ready to provide crisis / suicide intervention and comprehensive services that assess, identify, and link the service member or family member with the most appropriate resource. While there are many excellent resources available to service members, understanding which are applicable and how to access services can be confusing and daunting, particularly as a service member is reintegrating and potentially facing unprecedented stressors. Members need a “resource expert” to help them navigate the myriad of services available to them, both military and civilian. That is what Oregon Military Assistance Helpline provides.
The Oregon Military Assistance Helpline is a service provided by Cascade Centers Inc. (Cascade). Cascade is a private firm, founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Cascade's mission is to provide comprehensive and leading edge services to organizations and individuals through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), 24 hour crisis intervention, face–to–face counseling, work / life balance services, wellness programs, education, training, and resource referrals. Cascade provides full service programs with a focus on customer service and building partnerships.
For additional information about the Oregon Military Assistance program or Cascade Centers, Inc. contact Anthony Brown.