Health & Safety

July 20, 2012

Luke experts train local firefighters on suicide prevention

Tags:
Story and photo by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Sharon Kozak, 56th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy outreach manager, and Senior Airman Brett Chapman, 56th MDOS mental health technician, brief firefighters on suicide prevention Monday at the Glendale Training Center.

A sudden increase in the firefighter suicide rate resulted in two experts from Luke Air Force Base spreading their suicide-intervention knowledge throughout local fire departments in the Phoenix area.

Senior Airman Brett Chapman, 56th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, and Sharon Kozak, 56th MDOS family advocacy outreach manager, teamed up in May to start the program. Since then, they have shared their knowledge with more than 460 firefighters.

The three-hour, informative and interactive briefing has received plenty of positive attention, Kozak said.

“At first, we only focused on educating firefighters in the West Valley,” she said. “But recently, we have been contacted by fire departments in Scottsdale who have requested the training. And when we finish training firefighters, we are moving on to police officers.”

During the briefing, Chapman and Kozak went over several suicide statistics.

“There were five firefighter suicides in the Phoenix area last year,” he said. “So far this year, there have been seven.”

This may be linked to the amount of stress servicemembers and firefighters face on the job.

According to Kozak, most suicide victims don’t want to die.

“They just want the pain to stop,” she said. “And, when it doesn’t, they feel hopeless. They think the only way to stop the pain is to end their life.”

This is when family, friends and coworkers may see some red flags, Chapman said.

“These indicators can be direct or indirect pre-suicide statements,” he said. “The suicide victim may also start giving away possessions or make a will. Usually when they make the decision to end their life, they feel relieved, which suddenly elevates their mood.”

When someone notices these red flags, they need to take action, Kozak said.

There are three steps to helping someone who shows signs that he may be considering suicide.

“The first step is intervention,” Chapman said. “Just listen and be supportive. Show you care and be genuine.”

Next, ask about suicide and treatment.

“These questions are very hard, but you have to ask them,” he said. “Be direct, but not confrontational. Ask: Are you thinking about suicide? Do you have a therapist? Are you seeing him? Are you taking your medication?”

Then, get help.

“Call 911 or (800) 273-TALK (8255),” Chapman said. “Most importantly, don’t leave them alone.”

 

Top 10 stressful jobs with the lowest pay

1.  Military
2.  Firefighter
3.  Emergency medical technician
4.  Social worker
5.  Counselor
6.  Taxi driver
7.  Probation officer
8.  Hotel concierge
9.  Import/export agent
10.  News reporter

Source: 56th MDOS

 




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


 
 

 

Luke welcomes Nurse Advice Line

Remember that moment? The moment you thought you had something medically wrong with you but didn’t know exactly what it was? After a few Web searches, you find yourself on WebMD and are questioning whether you have the least worrying of possible diagnoses or the worst — cancer or even death. To help patients save...
 
 
141020-SMSgt-Shelly-Bailey-8x10-DW

Path to inspirational leadership evolving skillset

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Bailey At some point in our Air Force career we will assume a leadership role. Leadership is an ever-evolving skillset that you will continue to develop throughout the course of your career. The highes...
 
 

Bridges: build, don’t burn

Have you heard the phrase “don’t burn your bridges?” This idiom is used to describe the importance of not ending a relationship on a bad note. In this case, the relationship is your military career. For example, when you build professional relationships you are networking or laying the foundation for the building of a bridge....
 

 
141008-F-HT977-005

Unaccompanied housing to be upgraded

Funds have arrived from Air Education and Training Command for unaccompanied housing to use to take care of Airmen in the dorms, from reconstruction of dorms to fixing a door knob. “With these funds we are able to maintain do...
 
 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

Notice to claimants In accordance with Air Force Instruction 34-511, paragraph 3.1.5, notice is hereby given that Airman 1st Class Wheeler Nichols is deceased. The undersigned has been appointed summary court officer for the purpose of estate settlement in accordance with AFI 34-511. All persons having claims for or against the estate should call Lt....
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

New honorary commanders inducted

Senior Airman Grace Lee Honorary commanders chat with Luke Air Force Base leaders Oct. 17 during social hour in Hangar 431 at Luke Air Force Base prior to their official induction ceremony. The honorary commander program partne...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin