An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The social media network: 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron discusses good mental health and how social media impacts it

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matthew Reisdorf
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

Going for a walk, lifting weights or reading are all sure-fire ways to help maintain good mental health for service members while seeking ways to improve their mood.

Capt. Mackenzie Kampa, the 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron mental health officer in charge, says mental health should be a top priority for military members when they work on their resiliency.

"I think mental health and resilience are inextricably linked," Kampa said. "When we think about the concept of resilience, we usually think about a rubber band where you can pull it back and it will bounce back. 

If that rubber band is affected to the point of not bouncing back, we begin to see that the band's elasticity starts to wear down.

"Maybe we become a little more stretched out, or we start to see breaks in the rubber band – kind of like ourselves," she said. "Making sure that we are taking care of our mental health and taking care of the mental health of our wingmen is essential."

Social media has become prominent in today's day and age. While good things have come from the development of social media, some effects of scrolling through social media can negatively impact mental health, Kampa said.

"There are algorithms on these sites that show you more of what you're looking at," she said. "If you find yourself sucked into watching content that is making you feel 'I'm not good enough,' then you are going to keep seeing that on your social media feed."

Putting the phone down can be challenging, but staying vigilant to not overdue the screen time is highly important to combat depression. Kampa says that even though it's hard to do, it will help improve self-esteem immeasurably in the long run.


"For the sake of your mental health, include things like a timer for yourself," she said. "Maybe take a social media break. Delete Instagram off your phone for a week and then reevaluate how much time you were spending there, filling your time with 'doom scrolling.'"

Social media and how it affects different people is one reason that Staff Sgt. Alessia Sadlowski, a 934th ASTS mental health technician, decided to become a mental health specialist.

"I think seeing people on social media and how a lot of people struggle with their body image really pulled on my heartstrings," Sadlowski said. "It made me want to understand a part of that community and help people who suffer with body images or eating disorders."


She said that finding something enjoyable besides scrolling through your phone or staying cooped up inside is vital to preventing emotional negativity.

"Try to find something you enjoy," Sadlowski said. "I enjoy painting. That's my go-to when I am having a bad day. I'll just paint some images. I'm focused on something other than the issues that I may have going on. It gives me time to relax and not have any worries."

When all else fails, it may help to ask for help from various people. Sometimes, there are better ways to deal with problems than staying tough. People are there for that exact need, she said.

"Don't be afraid to speak up," Sadlowski said. "You can always stop into our office. We're not here to get you put on a profile that restricts your work or career. We're just simply here to check in on you and see how you're doing. If there are resources you need, we're here to help you with that and get you resources from our community." 

One of the best ways to combat depression that happens to keep military members ready for duty is physical exercise. It's one of the underrated methods to combating depression and making people feel better, Kampa said. 


"I would say it's underrated when we think about how much it can impact somebody's mindset and mood," she said. "It's not necessarily even about the type of physical activity that you are doing. It's really just the fact that you are going out and doing it."

That said, weightlifting is the best form of exercise to tackle negativity. Not only can it alleviate depression, but it also helps to keep the brain from cognitive decline, Kampa said.

"Low-impact exercises such as walking, biking and swimming release endorphins and makes you feel good," she said. "Even doing just a bit gives you that sense of satisfaction."

Exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet are all vital to maintaining mental health. Another method to confront negative emotions and depression is through discussion. The 934th ASTS mental health team has an open-door policy for assisting anyone and using the necessary resources to get the job done.

"Consider coming to see us here in mental health," Kampa said. "We want to help you take care of yourself and maintain the best mental fortitude you can."