By Marcus Hill | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Civilians at the United States Space Force and Air Force Bases in Colorado as well as United States Air Force Academy now have an on-site Employee Assistance Program counselor.
Adam Skibell, Air Force Employee Assistance Program field consultant, will have his main office at Peterson Air Force Base but will also be available to support civilians assigned to Schriever, Buckley and Cheyanne Mountain. Skibell will also assist with the United States Air Force Academy.
Air Force EAP, which went into effect Air Force-wide in October 2017, supports civilians with a variety of resources including access to mental health counselors, finance services and self-care modules for counseling.
Prior to his current position, which began Jan. 13, Skibell worked at Colorado Access in Aurora, Colorado doing assessments for people in the hospital who are experiencing a mental health emergency to determine necessary level of care. Skibell, a licensed professional counselor for mental health with more than 10 years of experience, is ready to assist civilians and their families as they face life’s challenges.
“Our mantra is to make your life’s journey easier and we can do that in a number of different ways,” Skibell said. “The programs are free of charge and my branch serves civilians at the various bases. AF EAP has a number of different programs: career coaching, legal and financial coaching and work-life services.”
All civilians can use the AF EAP program to include part-time, NAF, and civilians supporting the reserve and guard commands. Additionally, any Army civilians at USSF and USAFA are covered by the Air Force Component as well.
The services aren’t only for civilians, they’re also for their families. Anyone who lives in the same household as the government civilian can access the EAP 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“If you have kids coming home from college stressed out about the pandemic and they don’t know how to navigate that, parents can call and make an appointment or the student can call directly,” Skibell said. “When they call, they can choose to see me, connect with a local affiliate counselor or receive services virtually or telephonically through our central office.”
Prior to Skibell, civilians worked with a regional counselor who could support as requested.
“We had someone who we could call in from Denver,” said Jan Devitt, 50th Space Wing community support coordinator. “But last year, the AF EAP program office determined that Peterson and Schriever needed an EAP counselor. So now we have our own and that’s a big deal.”
Shortly after Skibell on-boarded, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many civilians to telework, including himself, making initial introductions tricky. Despite working from home, Skibell still worked to alert people of the EAP.
“He’s been proactive in reaching out and sending information to the people,” Devitt said. “He’s making sure to let civilians know they have a resource they can use. Whether that’s elderly care or something for parents.”
Skibell wants to change the stigma around the program and change the misconceptions people have about help seeking and about the program of which he said, “a lot of people think it’s a disciplinary program” and “someone might find out” if a civilian or family member uses it.
“I hope to let everyone know it’s more than just an outlet for counseling,” he said. “It’s for all those challenges that keep us from being focused day-to-day, from home repairs and childcare to family activities to keep everyone connected this summer while we continue to navigate present-day challenges.”
Skibell reinforced an important aspect of the program, its confidentiality. “If someone comes to ask for help, it stays private. Your supervisor, spouse, or family member won’t find out unless you share it with them. We’re here to help.”
For more information regarding the program or to connect to resources, call 1-866-580-9078 or visit Magellanascend.com.