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128th Air Refueling Wing Welcomes Psychological Health

Robb Simcock, the director for psychological health at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, discusses the aspects and goals of his position with the Wing on Saturday, November 19, 2011.  Simcock is a licensed psychological health practitioner with a focus in cognitive behavior, and he joined the Wing in July of this year as part of a Guard Bureau mandate that places a psychological health professional on every Guard installation.  Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wilson

Robb Simcock, the director for psychological health at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, discusses the aspects and goals of his position with the Wing on Saturday, November 19, 2011. Simcock is a licensed psychological health practitioner with a focus in cognitive behavior, and he joined the Wing in July of this year as part of a Guard Bureau mandate that places a psychological health professional on every Guard installation. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wilson

MILWAUKEE -- There's a new friendly face on base, and this is a friend who's willing to listen.

For almost 20 years, Robb Simcock, a Wisconsin native and resident of Menominee Falls, has helped people through times of personal hardship. Now, Robb has joined the 128th Air Refueling Wing as the Wing director of psychological health.

"I feel that I can make a change," Robb said when asked why he joined the Wing. He went on to say that his position is mirrored and mandated by the National Guard Bureau for every National Guard base due to the number of past suicides among military members.

Regarding his services, Robb explained that he works with cognitive behavior.

"Whatever the issue, I try to let visitors know that they can control how they think and act," Robb said. "How [people] respond to a situation is very important."

With that thought in mind, Robb said that he is more of a coach than a counselor. Rather than ask reflective questions, Robb said his approach is to directly help a visitor through his or her difficulty.

Experience has shaped Robb's perspective. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in 1989, and he obtained his license in 1992. During his years of counseling patients and managing psychological health, Robb said he received a keen observation from a coworker.

"One of my supervisors once told me, 'Robb, we do sacred work,'" he said. "That's an honor. People trust me, and that's why I'm passionate about my career."

Twenty years of experience has also given Robb insight into why people visit his office. He said there are three primary concerns that most trouble his visitors: grief and loss, stress management, and workplace employment. However, Robb said his door is open to any concern, including those stemming from the personal lives of the Wing's Airmen.

"I'm here to provide support, which means assessment and consultation, to full-time and traditional people," he said.

Robb also brought special attention to the confidentiality that comes with his office.

"To come and see me is a voluntary choice," he said. "My notes never get sent the medical squadron."

Elaine Schachelmayer, the 128 ARW Airman and family readiness program manager, spoke highly of Robb. She said he has years of national board-certified experience coordinating care and working with adults and children.

"Here, we have professionals who have a heart to serve," Schachelmayer said. "We encourage anyone that needs to talk to give us a call."

Robb had much the same opinion.

"This is a confidential, voluntary choice to come see me," he said. "I'm a resource, someone that would help [Airmen]."

Robb Simcock's office is located next to the Airman and Family Support Program office, and his door is open to any Airman.