Suicide and interpersonal violence are serious issues that require comprehensive, seamless prevention, intervention, and postvention responses from exceptional leaders. In order to support readiness and build a more lethal force, leaders must foster and promote resilience among their Airmen. Leaders should familiarize themselves with available resiliency tools and resources to prevent and respond to crisis such as suicide or sexual assault.

Tools to build unit resilience and prevent crisis.
Tools for leading high-risk Airmen and navigating through a crisis.
Tools for reintegration and leading after a crisis.
Exercises that provide the opportunity for Leaders to test their knowledge, rehearse their actions, and refine contingency plans so they are better prepared to lead in times of crisis.

Time Based Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and the Air Force is introducing a new approach to suicide prevention called Time-Based Prevention – to focus on the “means” of suicide. Suicide attempts with a firearm are 90% lethal. Safely stored firearms require deliberate access actions to operate, creating a barrier and assisting in the prevention of suicide attempts using firearms. Time-based Prevention efforts are not intended to limit or prohibit the legal ownership or use of firearms for individuals. Airmen are encouraged to go “SLO" - S = SAFES, L = LOCKS or O = OUTSIDE THE HOME. 

Resilience Multimedia

CMSAF Resilience Tactical Pause
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright shares his thoughts on the recent announcement of the Resilience Tactical Pause.
Peterson Resiliency Programs
This video includes clips from the other videos in the series and ties them together with the 21st Space Wing commanders message on resiliency. The goal is to highlight not just the resiliency programs the Air Force offers, but the impact that these programs have on the individuals who use them.
Herschel Walker Resiliency Interview
This is the full interview of Herschel Walker on resiliency and mental illness.
Chaplain's Thought - Impact
Air University's Holm Center chaplain's weekly inspirational message.
Tell Your Story: Resilience
SrA Courtney Carlson has dealt with tremendous tragedy and self-growth in less than a year. In this documentary-style video, she tells the highest enlisted member in the Air Force (CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright) her story - being open and vulnerable about her journey helps her continue to heal.
Resilience Website Tools
The Air Force Office of Integrated Resilience recently unveiled a new website (https://www.resilience.af.mil) that highlights tools to help Airmen and their families thrive, and provide a culture of dignity and respect across the Total Force. These tools, including prevention, intervention and postvention lines of effort, aim to confront the challenges of sexual assault and suicide head-on, thereby developing a more resilient force.

Listen to the Air Force Podcast

Ask*Care*Escort

If you have identified an airman that may be considering suicide, it’s important to Ask your Wingman directly about what’s going on. This will help you determine what needs to be done next. Ask about issues early rather than waiting for things to escalate to the point of crisis. Take all comments about suicide seriously. Be an active listener and let your Wingman tell you about their challenges. Although it can be awkward, it’s important to ask the tough questions about whether or not your Wingman is thinking about harming or killing himself. If the answer is yes, or if you even suspect that the answer is yes, don’t leave the person alone.

Care for your Wingman by calmly listening and expressing concern. Don’t be judgmental or promise secrecy. If your Wingman is having thoughts of suicide, you need to act. Remove anything he could use to hurt himself and immediately seek help.

The final step is to Escort your Wingman immediately to the nearest emergency room, Mental Health Clinic, chaplain, or primary care clinic, and contact the supervisor or chain of command. If a distressed Airman refuses help or you're not sure what to do, call your supervisor or 911 for help. Never leave an Airman who is having thoughts of suicide alone, even to go to the bathroom.

Ask Your

Wingman

  • Have the courage to ask the question, but stay calm
  • Ask the question directly: Are you thinking of killing yourself? 
  • And, do you have access to a firearm?

Care For Your

Wingman

  • Calmly control the situation; do not use force; be safe
  • Actively listen to show under­standing and produce relief
  • Remove any means that could be used for self-injury

Escort Your

Wingman

  • Never leave your buddy alone

Finding a Way Through Depression

RAF Lakenheath --

His marriage ended on ugly terms. He had been depressed for months. He feared negative consequences to his career so he shared little of what he was going through with his friends and supervisor. Then, Senior Airman Michael Drinkwater made a plan that finally gave him a sense of relief.  But, it wasn’t relief from a plan to get well. Instead, Drinkwater had made a plan to end his life.

“[I was] almost romanticizing it, thinking about it quite a lot and putting together a plan. And in those two weeks where I had a plan, I felt more relief that I had in months,” said Drinkwater.

Continue Reading

 

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the the United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external Web site, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Operation Thursday

Strategic Initiatives

Invisible Wounds graphic

Air Force National Guard Graphic

Air Force Reserve Emblem

A screenshot of the Air Force Leadership Application

Leadership App

A mobile app that provides leaders with a variety of prevention, intervention, and postvention tools.

Air Force Employee Assistance Program graphic

Additional Resources

Send Us Your Comments