Health & Safety

May 17, 2013

TV announcements illustrate signs of suicide risk

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officials at the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have produced three public service announcements to help families and friends recognize the signs of potential suicide in veterans and service members.

The television announcements have aired since April on the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Network, and are 15, 30 and 60 seconds in length, officials said.

“A veteran or service member returning from a deployment, [whether] at home or abroad, is subject to a certain amount of distress,” said Jacqueline Garrick, the director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. “Regardless of where they served, there still are challenges when they return home, and we want to encourage them to seek help.”

And the two departments want to avert suicide by making sure families, friends and communities that surround veterans and service members are aware of the signs and symptoms of suicide, to get those at risk into treatment right away, Garrick said.

Garrick said seeking early treatment before the symptoms worsen is vital. Veterans and service members who stall treatment might do so for many reasons, such as fear of losing their jobs, “but they (should) see it as a way to save their careers,” she added.

“Seeking help is a sign of strength,” Garrick said. “They won’t lose their jobs.”

And avoiding help doesn’t make an individual’s concerns go away, she noted, and that’s where the TV announcements come in – to get the risk factor information out to families, friends and communities so they can encourage the individual to seek treatment.

“Letting problems get worse doesn’t make your career get better,” Garrick said. “The problems that are not dealt with are just going to manifest themselves and get bigger further down the road. We want to encourage veterans (and) service members to get help early, because it does make a difference in the long term.”

Suicide is not unique to the military, Garrick noted, adding that it is a societal issue, and successful treatment is easily available. For veterans and service members, Garrick said that help is available around the clock at http://www.suicideoutreach.org and through the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which offer confidential chats and texting capabilities.

The website offers a wealth of resources, including the announcements, videos and a variety of information on how to seek help for service members, friends and families, Garrick said.

Garrick noted that in addition to the need for family members to help distressed service members and veterans, the family members themselves can be distressed, and should take advantage of the resources and seek help if that’s the case.

“By doing [the TV announcements], we’re expanding our message to outside the service members,” she added. “We want families and others to see and hear the (announcements) so everyone feels comfortable encouraging their service member to seek help.”




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

AFAS helps ease financial stress

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Hiroko Bush, 99th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, accepts a Nellis Airman’s Air Force Financial Aid Society application at the Airman and Family Re...
 
 

AF to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from...
 
 

Why I became a victim advocate for fellow Airmen

Editor’s note: Though the author chose to remain anonymous, this is the real story of one Airman’s experience with sexual assault. Be mindful that no two sexual assault stories are the same. If you, or anyone you know, has been or is currently a victim of any sexual crime, contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

USAF A3, former USAFWS commandant visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Lt. Gen. Burton M. Field, deputy chief of staff of Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., is sprayed by his wife Lisa after hi...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed

Shedding light on patient advocates

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Master Sgt. Bryan Anderson, 99th Medical Group patient advocate, speaks with a patient at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 15....
 
 

F-35 on time to deliver global security, Air Force official said

WASHINGTON — Work leading up the completion of the multinational F-35 program is largely on track, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office executive officer said in remarks during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 15. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported steady progress across all elements of...
 




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