Okinawa University students pose for a photo with a variety of behavioral health professionals and social workers from the Behavioral Health Center, Feb. 13, 2020, on Camp Foster. Students were given the opportunity to meet and greet with substance abuse clinicians, family advocacy workers and community counseling programs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Karis Mattingly)
Okinawa University students pose for a photo with a variety of behavioral health professionals and social workers from the Behavioral Health Center, Feb. 13, 2020, on Camp Foster. Students were given the opportunity to meet and greet with substance abuse clinicians, family advocacy workers and community counseling programs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Karis Mattingly)

Okinawa University students visit Camp Foster Behavior Health Center

by Lance Cpl. Karis Mattingly
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Okinawa University students visited the Behavior Health Center to expand their knowledge and learn from a variety of behavioral health professionals and social workers, Feb. 13, on Camp Foster. Students were given the opportunity to meet and greet with substance abuse clinicians, family advocacy workers and community counseling programs.

Every year Marine Corps Community Services invites Okinawa University students, who are juniors and seniors enrolled in a social work program, to come and learn from professionals at the Behavior Health Center on base.

“We are able to give local nationals students the ability to see what we do on our end of things,” said Raeven Cox, the administrative office manager of the Behavior Health Branch. “This is a great opportunity for young men and women to learn how to use social work once graduated.”

A meet and greet was provided for students to walk between departments, learning a variety of strategies on assisting people with behavior health related struggles.

Towards the end of the visit, the students, teachers, and MCCS social workers sat down to eat lunch together and explore a piece of what the base to offer.

“The best part of the day was sitting down with the students and getting to know them, '' said Cox.

“While sitting down to have lunch, it gives us the ability to truly connect with each and every one of the students on a personal level. It is also a great way to bridge that gap between the military community and local nationals not on Camp Foster," she said.

The students had a full day of visiting different behavioral health programs throughout Camp Foster and building a foundation for their future.

“I wasn't sure what to expect when coming to the base today,” said Yuna Yoshida, a second year student at Okinawa University.

“I discovered that everyone is very welcoming and has really good relationships with each other. Visiting the Behavior Health Center and exploring the base helps all of us understand military bases more, and I can't wait to tell my friends about it," she said.

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