Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel leads board of directors for national mental health organization specializing in services to our nation’s heroes
Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, announced today that Col. (Ret.) Thomas W. Mahler Jr. has been named Chair of its Board of Directors for Centerstone Military Services, effective July 1, 2017.
A long-time supporter of the organization, Mahler has served as a board member since 2003. In 2014, he was selected to become the chair of the Centerstone Research Institute board and served in that role until 2016. In addition to chairing the Centerstone Military Services board, he also serves on the Centerstone Foundation board.
Centerstone Military Services provides mental health care programs specially tailored to U.S service members including active duty and veterans from all branches regardless of discharge status. The organization serves the entire family including children, spouse, caregivers and parents of service members. These services are vital when recent Veterans Affairs statistics put the rate of veteran suicides at 20 per day in the United States.
“As a retired colonel, Tom’s experience, leadership perspective and knowledge of the military are invaluable to our organization,” said Col. (Ret.) Kent Crossley, Executive Director of Centerstone Military Services. “Combined with his visionary leadership for our Centerstone Research Institute, Tom is the perfect candidate to lead our board of directors and help us explore additional ways to connect our nation’s military service members and their loved ones with needed services.
A resident of Winchester, Tenn., Mahler retired in 2012 after 14 years in the aerospace industry. Prior to this, he spent 25 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Colonel. Mahler received his undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of Georgia.
“Research has revealed how mental health problems like PTSD are linked to other domains including physical health, suicide, homelessness, employment and economic well-being, aggression and violence,” said Mahler.
“As a passionate advocate, I want to see these brave individuals and their loved ones get the help they need,” he added. “There is a place for civilian organizations and philanthropists to assist in preventing or mitigating mental health problems for this population. I hope my contributions on this board will allow me to be part of a solution while attracting others to join this effort.”
Since 2002, over 100,000 current and former military personnel have been diagnosed with PTSD. Estimates show that 75 percent of those who suffer combat trauma do not receive adequate treatment. A veteran is 12 times more likely to die by their own hand after leaving the armed forces than by being killed in action by an enemy combatant during active duty. To learn more about Centerstone Military Services and their work, visit centerstone.org/military-services.
Centerstone Military Services combines its expertise in military cultural competency with the use of evidence-based approaches to treat problems commonly seen among this group. Services available include in-person counseling, homelessness prevention, housing assistance, employment counseling, online support groups, therapeutic retreats and peer support. There are also classes available online for providers who treat service members as well as support groups for military spouses.