Health & Safety

March 1, 2013

Suicide prevention – It’s everyone’s business!

Tags:
Nancy Koch-Castillo
412th TW Community Support coordinator

suicide
We as a “community” must get passed the stigma of talking about suicide prevention. I am not saying we have to be in everyone’s business 24/7, but we do need to step up our game in letting those around us know WE CARE. We should as individual citizens, employees, and spouses care about the well-being of our fellow co-workers, neighbors, friends and families. Just a simple, “hello, how are you today,” is a good start.

Since the new fiscal year began, Air Force Materiel Command has had 17 civilian suicides and 3 active duty. With the uncertainty of the economy and day-to-day operations it is obviously taken a toll on many people’s lives. Per Air Force Instruction 90-505, Suicide Prevention Program, EVERYONE NEEDS to take an active part in caring for people!

Risk factors

The primary risk factors for suicide include relationship, legal, financial problems, a history of a mental health diagnosis, substance misuse and a history of previous suicide attempts. Some signs to be on the lookout for are changes in behaviors and physical changes, thoughts and feelings about life and suicide, and feelings through the things people share with you.

Protective factors

To promote a healthy environment some of the protective factors for suicide prevention include social support and interconnectedness, belongingness, effective individual coping skills, and cultural norms that promote and protect responsible help seeking behavior.

The four pillars

Obviously, early intervention in someone’s life is always preferable to crisis response. And a community-based approach is essential to reducing suicide and maintaining a fit and ready force. Everyone should be familiar with the four pillars of resiliency: social, physical, mental and spiritual. As individuals it is vital to keep a healthy balance in all four pillars. By educating individuals about healthy coping strategies, building confidence, and instilling a belief that members are indeed resilient and able to effectively overcome life problems, they will be less likely to have thoughts of suicide.

Helping agencies

To assist the community, Edwards Air Force Base has a wealth of highly qualified helping agencies to include: the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Mental Health, Employee Assistance Program, Military and Family Life Counseling Program (no records are taken, truly anonymous), Chaplains, Health and Wellness, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, School Liaison Officer, and the Equal Opportunity office. Though the real problem is that if people aren’t aware of these resources it doesn’t add up to a whole heck of a lot!

Individual concern is key

We can inundate everyone with brochures, literature, flyers and, of course, death by PowerPoint. But, the question is: Are we really getting to the root of the issue? The answer to this is NO. All it takes is an individual in that particular group, squadron, unit, division, office or shop, to start a simple conversation with the words “How are you doing?” Here at Edwards, you hear we have a unique mission; things here run differently than at other bases. The reality is that we as employees, citizens and co-workers have become so engulfed in ourselves that we have lost and forgotten the human element of TRULY caring about are fellow man/woman.

It’s everyoneís business

The person most responsible for monitoring stress and individual effectiveness is the individual (Airman, DOD civilian, contractor). Then next are the folks who work right alongside these individuals. We must reiterate the “Wingman” concept in regards to the mental well-being of our fellow human beings. Lastly, an employee’s chain of command has definitive responsibility for monitoring the fitness and effectiveness of their people. And of course, when leadership prioritizes suicide prevention, all Airmen, DOD civilians, and contractors prioritize suicide prevention. The culture MUST be established as a Caring Community.

So if you don’t get anything else out of reading this article please ask yourself: What have I done lately to reach out to my fellow co-worker, friend, human being in the way that shows I CARE?

To learn more about suicide prevention go to: www.Wingmanonline.org.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

“Edwards Got Talent” contest April 24 Edwards Family Advocacy will hold an “Edwards Got Talent” competition at the Oasis Community Center April 24. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. and will end at 7:30 p.m. Anyone with access to Edwards AFB and their family members are invited to come and show off their talent! The...
 
 
Courtesy photograph by Liz Jacobson

Ten seconds later and that picture still exists

Courtesy photograph by Liz Jacobson Teenagers may feel a false sense of anonymity and security when using Internet apps, which can lead to an increasing number of teenagers sending inappropriate content. Irresponsible sharing o...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

Second X-56A MUTT makes first flight

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle, to explore the behavior of lightweight, flexible aircraft structures. Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong ...
 

 
afaf

AFAF campaign extended

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Edwards Air Force Base 2015 Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign has been extended an additional two weeks to May 15. If you would like to donate, contact your Unit Project Officer. For q...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

An Edwards NCO’s journey to wounded warrior mentorship

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. Tech. Sgt. Ryan Delaney, an Air Force Wounded Warrior mentor, watches Tremayne Maxwell, an Air Force Wounded Warrior athlete, perfect his wheelchair basketball rolling skills during the f...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

F-22 test squadron recognizes decorated squadron member, Vietnam hero

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara William Freckleton, 412th Range Squadron lead F-22 range control officer, poses before his F-16D incentive flight April 21. Freckleton is the only decorated Vietnam veteran at the 411th Flight...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>