Beale Air Force Base, Calif. --
Raising ones’ right hand and committing to a military institution, isn’t for everyone. However, some find a way to serve in a way that benefits military members and their families.
Dr. June Ruse is a one woman shop at the Behavioral Health Optimization Program within the 9th Medical Group. Her responsibility as the sole BHOP representative is to funnel individuals to the right clinic for their needs.
“My role is to work with the patient as a behavioral health consultant,” said Ruse. “When someone comes in and they have something going on; regardless of physical, mental, or emotional health, my role is to unwrap what they’re going through and then together come up with solutions that optimize them feeling better about whatever’s going on.”
Dr. Ruse’s passion for helping Airmen and their families stems from a lifetime of seeing how the military can affect an individual’s quality of life.
“Members of my family have been in the military and with that I got a firsthand look at the difficulties they face from a psychological point of view,” said Ruse. “The intensity, responsibility, and the pressure is just so much for one person. When this job opportunity came available, my sister, a retired Army Colonel, said, ‘we need you in there’.”
Dr. Ruse sees approximately eighty to one hundred patients a month. Despite the heavy intake of patients on her calendar, she is confident that she is in the position that is best fit for her and her talents.
“It felt like my calling,” Dr. June says, reflecting on the impact of her job. “It all gives me satisfaction because I know I save lives and I make their life a better place to be.”
BHOP serves as a lynchpin for individuals that need simple tools to improve issues in their life, and Dr. Ruse is an individual who can help distribute those tools.
“I look at what we can do together to get the person where they would rather be compared to where they are when they come in. This is not mental health. It’s important to know that coming here is a very easy thing to do, it gives you tools right away.”
BHOP isn’t a way to deter people from mental health, rather determine who needs elevated care without immediately taking the plunge with a therapist.
“When someone’s struggle is deeper, then I am the one that makes the proper referral to whatever they may need from primary care or mental health,” says Dr. Ruth. “I serve as a gatekeeper for mental health and higher levels of care.”
Keeping our Airmen resilient is a crucial part of the mission here at Recce Town. Keeping families and active duty members in the fight is a continuous effort for all members of the team.