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.

Seeking Help, Getting Help

A remembering photo of Lt. Col. Richard Cole, The Last of the Doolittle Raiders

 


For the second time in his career, Master Sgt. Jaime Moran was feeling “off,” worrying excessively about little things – lots and lots of little things. The first time it happened, he was serving at his second duty station at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, just a few years after joining the Air Force in 2005.  The “off” feeling started with fatigue. Then he began to fret about all kinds of things– not necessarily about whether or not he locked the door or remembered to turn out the lights – but the kinds of things the average person wouldn’t worry about, like if he had braked long enough for a stop sign.

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Resilience Multimedia

The 9th Reconnaissance Wing hosted resilience and medical senior leadership alongside subject matter experts to develop the future path for the True North resilience program as it shifts to an operationalized concept, as part of a two-day conference held November 5-6.
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing hosted resilience and medical senior leadership alongside subject matter experts to develop the future path for the True North resilience program as it shifts to an operationalized concept, as part of a two-day conference... ...More
Practicing the Pillars Podcast Episode 7: A Leaders Perspective, Brigadier General Claude Tudor
The Practicing the Pillars Podcast provides a unique opportunity for Airmen and Military Members from around Whiteman Air Force Base to discuss their stories of resiliency and how they use the Pillars of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness to overcome... ...More
Research indicates a quarter of suicides occur within the first five minutes of an individual’s decision to take his or her life. In the Air Force, personally-owned firearms are used in 70% of suicide attempts. So in many cases, just five minutes can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why during September – Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – 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, or firearms safely removed from the home and stored securely, 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” by storing firearms in proper storage safes, use cable locks when firearms are not in use and use local armories or ranges with storage options.
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,... ...More
Seeking help and gaining support from his Family and Leadership helped this Airman persevere through a difficult time. Now he's sharing his story to help his Wingmen thrive.
Seeking help and gaining support from his Family and Leadership helped this Airman persevere through a difficult time. Now he's sharing his story to help his Wingmen thrive.
A resiliency conversation with Lt. Col. Dan Magruder
A resiliency conversation with Lt. Col. Dan Magruder
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.
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... ...More
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing hosted resilience and medical senior leadership alongside subject matter experts to develop the future path for the True North resilience program as it shifts to an operationalized concept, as part of a two-day conference held November 5-6.
Practicing the Pillars Podcast Episode 7: A Leaders Perspective, Brigadier General Claude Tudor
Research indicates a quarter of suicides occur within the first five minutes of an individual’s decision to take his or her life. In the Air Force, personally-owned firearms are used in 70% of suicide attempts. So in many cases, just five minutes can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why during September – Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – 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, or firearms safely removed from the home and stored securely, 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” by storing firearms in proper storage safes, use cable locks when firearms are not in use and use local armories or ranges with storage options.
Seeking help and gaining support from his Family and Leadership helped this Airman persevere through a difficult time. Now he's sharing his story to help his Wingmen thrive.
A resiliency conversation with Lt. Col. Dan Magruder
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.

In Other News...

Airman Resiliency Teams: a Light in the Dark

 

Captain James Henry, 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group chaplain, (far left), Staff Sgt. Marcus Walker, 694th ISR religious affairs airman, (left), Tech. Sgt. Jin Lee, 694th ISRG medical technician, (middle), Master Sgt. Aaron Hurd, 694th ISRG mental health technician, (right), and Capt. Ryan Montanari, 694th ISRG psychologist, (far right) all make up the Airman Resiliency Team at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

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USAF: Leaders Should Share their Own Stories to Keep Resiliency Push Going

Air Force is encouraging senior leaders to be forthcoming with their own personal stories to connect with airmen and ensure the discussion continues, following the recent stand-down implemented to focus on mental health amid a dramatic increase in suicides.

“Us, as leaders, need to open up and show our brokenness,” said CMSgt. Terrence Greene, the command chief master sergeant for Air Mobility Command, in a recent interview. “We’re not perfect, we’re going through challenges in our lives."

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FORT. MEADE, Md. -- --

The morning skies were sunny and clear Saturday, October 6, 2019, as 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 16th Intelligence Squadron, program manager Staff Sgt. Caldwell (first name withheld) was on his way to the monthly unit training assembly.

Pulling on to the McComas Street ramp to Interstate 95, everything seemed normal until his attention was drawn to a lone figure, a young girl no more than 16 years old, sitting on a barrier along the ramp staring down a 60 to 70 foot drop.

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Saluting Our Providers

Team Vance Asks....

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

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.

Strategic Initiatives

Operation Thursday

Chaplain Corps Podcast

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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.

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Additional Resources

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