May is designated Mental Health Awareness Month, focusing on educating the public about mental health and reducing the stigmas that surround it.
The Air Force uses the Airmen Comprehensive Fitness Program to raise awareness for the importance of mental health and give Airmen the tools to maintain it.
According to Master Sgt. Noah Moore, 56th Fighter Wing Foreign Object Debris manager and Master Resiliency Trainer, research shows that trying to fix psychological damage after it has already happened is difficult to do. However, if people are given the tools to adapt and deal with those stressful and possibly traumatic events, before and during stress, their chances of success increase.
The ACFP is a platform which teaches Airmen how to maintain mental, social, spiritual and physical health while dealing with the stressors of everyday life.
“We teach positive psychology,” said Moore. “We teach gratitude, we want people to look for things they’re grateful for throughout the course of the day. We teach setting goals based on your personal values and linking the two to make your goals more attainable.”
It is the master resiliency trainer’s and resiliency trainer assistants’ responsibility to inform base personnel of resiliency tools they can use in their everyday lives.
“Currently the program has 20 MRTs and over 124 RTAs on the installation”, said Lofton.
To spread the curriculum, resiliency trainers teach the course to groups across the base. Additionally they focus on new Airmen going through the First Term Airmen Course to start them off with resiliency tools they can use throughout their career.
A mission ready Airman must be physically fit, proficient at their job, but most importantly the must be in good mental health.
“No matter what you’re going through at work or at home you need to have some type of mental stability to perform; to be the best you can possibly be,” said Lofton.
For more information on mental health resources contact the Mental Health Clinic at 623-856-7579 or the Chapel at 623-856-6211. To receive more information on the resiliency program contact Sharon Kozak at 623-896-2716.