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Mental health specialist

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  • Mental health specialist

    How long is AIT for a mental health specialist.

    Do you have to already have a degree in this or how does it work?

  • #2
    Re: Mental health specialist

    Twenty weeks of AIT. http://www.goarmy.com/JobDetail.do?id=160

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    • #3
      Re: Mental health specialist

      thank you.

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      • #4
        Re: Mental health specialist

        You will live in barracks. We had two (or three) people per room and each room had a bathroom/shower that was shared by suite mates in a room connected by the other side of the bathroom The rooms consist of beds, lockers, nightstands a refrigerator/freezer and microwave and a closet. We had 2 male floors and 2 female floors. Learn to love waxing floors because you will spend plenty of time doing it. Do not take short cuts, do it right, make it look good and your floor will not find yourselves doing it as often as other floors that try to take short cuts.

        Here is a general break down of how class was:
        There were two phases and each phase had its own set of instructors. First phase was death by powerpoint. It's interesting and you do learn A LOT... that's the problem. There is so much information crammed down your throat that's it can be overwhelming. If you have a background in psychology it will be less stressful. If it's your first time ever learning the information, it can be somewhat confusing.
        You learn the basics first, including BLS (CPR). You learn about how disorders are diagnosed and what the DSM-IV is. You learn about different disorders and how they are categorized. Then you learn about treatment- medications, therapy, couseling, etc. You can take notes in the books they give you if it helps you... or you can use the space to doodle to keep yourself awake. The tests were pretty cut and dry. They aren't meant to fail anyone, just meant to test your knowledge. If you read along in class or by yourself in the barracks, you'll have read all the information on the tests. Ours were straight out of the books. You do need a 70 % to pass or you will de-phase, lose privledges and have to re-test. if you fail again you will reclass to another MOS.
        You learn about personality disorders, mood disorders, phobias, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, etc. It's an all-encompassing course.
        Then you go on to phase II. This is more "hands on". You learn to write SOAP notes and you learn about admission and couseling procedures. You get to act out scenarios with other class members. You have to write a complete note at one point in time and it takes a couple hours. That's the worst part because it's just so tedious.
        The FTX was 4 days at Camp Bullis. We stayed in large tents. Males in one and females in another. Days 1 & 2 were working in clinics in a field environment practicing what we learned, days 3 & 4 were clearing buildings and a refresher of everything we learned at BCT. It was the middle of the summer when I was there, so we actually did have casualties (heat). It was 107 degrees and we were in full battle rattle.
        Phase II is also where you do your clinical training. Our class was split up between 4 area locked Mental Health Wards. I went to the VA. You get to wear civilian clothes, so make sure you have dress clothes that someone will send you or be prepared to do a lot of shopping, because they are required. You go in and talk to patients and help out on the ward and practice your skills. Then we had to pick a patient daily, and write a soap note on him/her and present it. It wasn't really that hard of a task if you did a little reasearch and talked to the patient. The best advice is to treat the patients like people- not like patients. Play cards, ***** the ****, take them to go smoke (that's a big one) and just get to know them. Most of them know why you're there because they've been through it before.
        If you are sincerely interested in the psychology field, you will most likely enjoy the class. The people that had the hardest time were the ones who just didn't care about what they were doing and were just going through the motions. Talking to people all day every day and doing oodles of paperwork doesn't go well with apathy and inversion.
        San Antonio itself is a nice place. There is a lot to do in the city. The Riverwalk is probably the most visited place. There are all types of bars and stores and restaurants there.
        If you find it hard to stay awake, make sure you invest in some form of caffeine before class. Again, the first half is death by powerpoint and you'll really need it some days.
        But, all in all, it was a good experience. The first part goes by sort of slowly. But, once you hit phase II, time flies by.
        You will be in Bravo 187th Med BN.
        PT is every morning and Monday, Wed, Fri are run days and Tuesday is muscle failure and Thursday is Combatives. You will run A LOT...
        This is a very fast paced class and you will get a bachelors degree worth of education in 20 1/2 weeks. There are about 8 large books you will go through and most tests are on about 6 chapters at a time. It is a lot to absorb. Pay attention in class, take notes or highlight on your books, read about an hour a night, invest in caffeine during lunch and get a good nights sleep and you will be fine. make sure you keep up on your PT and your test scores so you do not get de-phased after phasing. If you get de-phased you spend all your free time at the company on detail while everyone else is off post having fun. DO NOT drink if you are under age. Class usually runs from 8:30 to 4 or 4:30. Some instructors are very entertaing and some are VERY dry and you find yourself standing up often to stay awake. DO NOT fall asleep, they love IRON MIKES and PUSH UPS....

        You can bring your I-Pod, laptop and cell phone and are free to use them after POI hours are over (Basically when you get released for the day) Do NOT get caught with your cell phone on you during the day. keep it in your locker. There is high speed internet connection avalable for about $30.00 per month. Just log on and it will pop up to sighn up with a debit card or credit card.
        If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask. I hope this helped. I know I had a hard time finding info before I went to AIT
        Last edited by aSoldierAndaLady; June 21st, 2010, 08:14 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Mental health specialist

          Oh, do not EVER leave your locker in your room unlocked while you are at the school house. You will come back to a mess and I am not kidding...

          Also, if you are at Ft Sam in the warm weather and you or a battle has a POV, there are several places within a 45 min drive that you can go tubing. Our Saturdays consisted of 4 of us taking a case of beer and a waterproof sound system to the river. We got 4 bottomless tubes to float on and one with a bottom we all tied on to that was in the middle and spent the day relaxing, floating and having a good time. Word to the wise, if you do this. Go early so you have time to let your beer wear off before driving and evening formation. Learn what the SGTs on duty are like before attempting to go back after a night out. Some could care less if you were puking in formation and your battles literally had to hold you up and others would call the MP's for an alcohol test and you were screwed. Be responsible and know what you can do and can not do. We had a lot of immature alcoholics and a lot of alcohol related accidents. It was a pretty sad sight. often times many of us stayed in on weekend evenings or went to early formation so we would not be standing in final formation with all the drunks. You never knew what to expect. Sometimes formation could end up being 2 hours because someone passed out or got sick or was late.
          There is a lot to do in San Antonio, Have fun but take it easy...
          Last edited by aSoldierAndaLady; June 21st, 2010, 08:36 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Mental health specialist

            wow, thanks for all that information.

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            • #7
              Re: Mental health specialist

              What is life like for a TDY MOS-T for 68X? I am an E5 Reclassing.

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              • #8
                Re: Mental health specialist

                Originally posted by obsessionad
                What is life like for a TDY MOS-T for 68X? I am an E5 Reclassing.
                Unless you were planning on going active, it is really hard to say if I would reccomend it. It is awesome training, but really depends on what you want to do with it. I am one of 3 in my state and the only one at my unit which is heavy with Whiskeys, I cross train with them because there is nothing for me to do. They have no idea what to do with me and have no idea what it is that I do. You have to work under a licensed social worker, phychologist or psychiatrist which there is only one of in my state. At drill I am usually our unit photographer or paper pusher. I have been working for the Yellow Ribbon program doing re-integration for our state soldiers returning from deployment and have an opportunity coming up to do SRP's.
                The schooling was fantastic and very in depth and I am currently looking for a position as a Community Outreach Coordinator or a Youth Care Worker for troubled teens. You do have an opportunity to get your Drug and Alcohol counseling certification which can come in handy in the civilian world and I am going to school to get my Social Worker certification then when I complete my Masters, plan on a direct commission. I will then be able to do more at the state level.
                Depending what your future goals are and what if anything you plan on doing with the training and how long you plan to stay in the service would all play into this MOS. It is INTENSE and long if you are not going to be able to do anything with it. That is the frustrating part. Some of our training we recieved is what Grad students go through and it was not easy training to not use it.
                If I had known before what I know know about this MOS at the State level I would have chosen Physical Therapy or X Ray Tech or Dental Tech so I could justify it in the civilian world and work part time utilizing my training while going to school.
                I loved the training but make sure you really enjoy talking to people and are not shy. This is not a job for introverts. Talking is what X Rays do and you will do one on one interviewing and counseling in front of the whole class while being graded. Imagine the heart palpitations and sweaty palms but it was great to see others styles and techniques. You learned from others mistakes.
                Prior service is seperated and you will have a lot more freedom. You will be in the prior service barracks and will not have to worry about phasing. Once POI hours are over your time is your own. I would highly reccomend driving down to FT Sam because the prior service barracks are quite a distance from the school house and the company barracks and you will have to show up at the company barracks every morning for PT. We had 5 prior service out of a class of 60 ish. I think only one of them did not bring a POV.
                Last edited by aSoldierAndaLady; July 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Mental health specialist

                  This forum was very informative. I have been contemplating of reenlisting into the guard. I am prior service Marine and have been out for over 10 years. I was wondering about what is expected in school. Barracks, PT, Field Days. It sounds like the good ol days. (not in a super fun way)
                  - Are all of the instructors all gung ho and "ohrah" and "hoorah" or are they pretty professional and great to learn from?? I have a 4 year degree but wanted to learn a health care career first before going into OCS. I wanted to make sure I liked what I was doing first also. I am hoping if I do reenlist I can get into radiology or psychical therapy.

                  So prior service members are in separate barracks? Do you salute all the officers on base etc?

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