Ep 5: Overcoming Mental Health Stigmas In The Navy with Darryl Howell

In this episode of Untold Valor, Darryl Howell, a former Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy, talks about mental health stigmas in the military, the importance of mentorship, and how personal relationships can help overcome destructive behaviors. With 30 years of service in the Navy, Darryl reflects on the challenges faced by soldiers, including being away from family for extended periods and the impact it has on mental health.

As a leader, he recalls the difficulty of seeing his sailors struggle with various pressures and offers advice to service members and veterans facing similar struggles.

Darryl also discusses recent efforts in the Navy to reduce mental health stigmas and improve outcomes for sailors. This episode offers a unique perspective from a decorated veteran who is committed to helping others in need. Don’t miss out on this compelling discussion.

Highlights of this episode:

  • Details about Darryl’s experience in the Navy. (1:01)
  • The challenges of being away from your family for extended periods of time. (3:10)
  • How care for mental health has improved throughout the Navy in recent years. (5:45)
  • Overcoming the stigma of seeking mental health care in the military. (8:01)
  • Advice to service members and veterans who might be struggling with their mental health. (11:00)

About Darryl:

CAPT Darryl Howell is a retired United States Navy officer who served as a Surface Warfare Officer. He attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. After completing the ROTC program, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy and served on several vessels, including USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) and USS Mobile Bay (CG-53). In 1999, he left active duty and joined the Naval Reserve, where he served in various roles, including as an Instructor in Navy Leadership and Ethics Command.

He was recalled to active duty twice, in 2007 and 2014. CAPT Howell is now the Chief Operating Officer for the Powell Consulting Group and is a Principal Engineer supporting the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a master’s degree in Systems Engineering. CAPT Howell has received numerous decorations, including two Legion of Merit awards and five Navy Commendation Medals.


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