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By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 – Efforts to take the stigma out of seeking help when it’s needed and build resiliency within the force appear to be paying off, the commander of a brigade that’s seen heavy action in Afghanistan told American Forces Press Service.

Army Col. Sean M. Jenkins, commander of the 101st Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, reported promising signs that soldiers are heeding the message being sent from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on down that seeking mental, physical or spiritual care is a sign of strength, not weakness.

“We are making progress in moving to a point where there is not a stigma, and there shouldn’t be,” Jenkins said. “Every unit is different, and every squad and team is different. But I think we’ve come to a point where the stigma is diminishing and where soldiers recognize that it’s sometimes okay to raise their hand and say, ‘Hey, I can’t go on this [mission].’”