September is Suicide Prevention Month

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Deaths as a result of suicide are a preventable public health concern and a top priority for the Department of Defense. The Military Health System works with military and civilian organizations to build awareness of suicidal behavior and risks, and provide prevention programs and resources to help service members and their families cope with mental health issues and everyday stressors. The MHS also promotes programs that instill the skills needed to manage life’s challenges and encourages those with suicidal ideation to seek help.

“American Airmen are agile, innovative, and always accomplish the mission! To do this, we overcome obstacles every day, both professionally and personally,” said General Mark. A Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff. “I urge you to guard and strengthen that resilience. Take care of yourself, your family and fellow Airmen. If you see someone in need, help them. If you’re the one struggling, make the right choice and seek help from a friend, a supervisor, or a professional.”

Reaching out for help is a sign of strength – find that strength and help others by decreasing the stigma and dispelling myths.

Maintaining interactions with family can be tough. Each day is an important opportunity to better connect. Learn parenting skills to help strengthen your relationships with your children. Resiliency is a prominent characteristic of an Airman. Learn how to translate this into your family life to strengthen your relationships.

Get tips for spotting warning signs, coping with the loss of a friend at guardyourhealth.com.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Taking care of your mind is just as important as your body. Find hope by getting support. A team of professionals stands ready to help.

This month, and all year long 24/7/365 – if you or a fellow Airman is in crisis, help is a phone call away. At March Air Reserve Base, members may contact Elaine Valentine (olga.valentine@us.af.mil), 951-655-5097 or Frank Pavone (frank.pavone@us.af.mil), 951-655-4551 anytime for help. Another number you may call if you need help anytime day or night is 951-655-7272. For more information on how to stay supportive of your Wingman, visit airforcemedicine.af.mil/suicideprevention.