Health & Safety

August 30, 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 EVERYONE’S 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.


 
 

 
MG-appointments

Don’t be a no show

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patie...
 
 

DOD brain injury experts give prevention tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Timely advice focuses on motor vehicle collisions, leading cause of military brain injuries As part of efforts to promote safe driving during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, experts from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s A Head for the Future initiative remind drivers to protect their heads while on the road. Motor vehicle collisions are...
 
 

Beat the heat through Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Index

As a safety professional and working here at Edwards AFB in the summer, you are at the mercy of the heat. Because of the heat, I will discuss the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature. The WBGT combines four thermal components: ambient air temperatures, relative humidity, air velocity and radiant heat. At Edwards, heat related incidents can...
 

 

On-the-job falls affect work productivity

It is a fact that more than 16 percent of all falls on the job result in injuries affecting the productive environment of the workplace. It becomes essential to implement a means to prevent falls while at the workplace. There are basically two kinds of falls: those that happen in single-story structure and those that...
 
 

Teal Helping Hands

Air Force photograph The Teal Helping Hands display, currently at the Oasis Community Center, is a traveling wall project presented by the 412th Test Wing’s Sexual Assault Prevention Office. The display will also head to Bldg. 3000 next to close out Sexual Assault Prevention Month.   Throughout the month of April, which is Sexual Assault...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

‘Motorcycles are everywhere’

Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit Always be on the lookout for motorcycles while driving. Have you noticed more motorcyclists on the road lately? Have you looked for motorcyclists while driving? After a multi-vehicle acci...
 




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>