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.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




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