CHAPLAIN CORPS

Whether we are religious or not, we all share in the human spirit; that spark, that drive, that “why” that motivates us and keeps us going.  We all may define and develop it differently, but that human spirit is something we share.  Developing that spirit gives us the ability to thrive through difficulty, to bounce back from setbacks, and to meet life, with all of its challenges, head on.

No matter what it may look like for you, your Chaplain Corps stands ready to support you in your spiritual fitness.

 

HELPING RESOURCES

There are many resources available to airmen, their families, and friends pertaining to the subject of interpersonal and self-directed violence.

Veterans/Military Crisis Line

The purpose of the Veterans/Military Crisis Line is to connect service-members, their families, and their friends to a qualified Department of Defense responder in a time of crisis. The VCL/MCL can be reached by phone at 1-800-273-8255, by text at 838255, or via online chat.

Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is dedicated to domestic and Child abuse prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment. The Air Force provides a variety of services to Airmen and Families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life.  Federal-Benefits/Family-Advocacy-Programs-(FAP)

National Organizations Providing Suicide Prevention Information

American Association of Suicidology (AAS)

AAS is a membership organization for all those involved in suicide prevention and intervention, or touched by suicide. AAS is a leader in the advancement of scientific and programmatic efforts in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services.
https://www.suicidology.org/

American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Clinician Survivor Task Force

Under the auspices of the American Association of Suicidology, the task force will provide consultation, support and education to psychotherapists and other mental health professionals to assist them in understanding and responding to their personal/professional loss resulting from the suicide death of a patient/client.
http://mypage.iu.edu/~jmcintos/therapists_mainpg.htm

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
http://www.afsp.org/

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association is the world's largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing more than 33,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Its member physicians work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders.
http://www.psychiatry.org/suicide

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world's largest association of psychologists, with more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.
www.apa.org/topics/suicide/index.aspx

Federal Civilian Employees - Office of Personnel Management

Office of Personnel Management website containing links and information for current, new and prospective civilian employees of all agencies.
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/federal-employees/

Link Counseling Center's National Resource Center

The Link's NRC is a leading resource in the country for suicide prevention and aftercare. It is dedicated to reaching out to those whose lives have been impacted by suicide and connecting them to available resources. Families who have experienced a loss through suicide receive unparalleled support while they grieve.
https://www.thelink.org/

Make the Connection

A public awareness campaign by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that provides personal testimonials and resources to help Veterans discover ways to improve their lives.
http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/suicide#

Magellan Ascend

The Employee Assistance Program for Air Force Civilian Employees. Find information and resources for work-life issues, legal services, senior care management and coaching. 
http://www.magellanAscend.com/

Mental Health America

Dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and additions through advocacy, education, research and service.
http://www.nmha.org/go/suicide

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Their mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.
http://www.save.org

24/7 Resources And Information For Service Members And Families:

DoD/VA Suicide Outreach: DCoE Outreach Center (with Link to Chat)

Provides psychological health information and connects service members/families with resources.
1-866-966-1020

Military One Source

Free service provided by the DoD to service members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members.

They can also include more complex issues like relationships, stress, and grief. Services are available 24 hours a day -- by telephone and online.
(Available 24/7) 1-800-342-9647
http://www.militaryonesource.com/skins/MOS/home.aspx

Family Resources

Compassionate Friends

Provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family
http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families

Provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences. Provides support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief.
http://www.dougy.org

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI, is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.
http://www.nami.org/

Parents of Suicide

A mailing list provides that provides a supportive environment for parents whose children have died of suicide. It is intended to provide a place where parents can discuss the lives and deaths of their children with other parents whose children have died by suicide.
http://www.parentsofsuicide.com/parents.html

SiblingSurvivors.com

Share stories of surviving sibling suicide and continue supporting the need for open dialog and community amongst those affected by the loss of a sibling.
http://www.siblingsurvivors.com

Suicide: Finding Hope

http://www.suicidefindinghope.com/home

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

TAPS provides immediate and long-term emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. TAPS meets its mission by providing peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, casework assistance, and connections to community-based care.
http://www.taps.org/

Risk Factors

Military life can be both rewarding and challenging, and everyone deals with life stressors. Fortunately, most Airmen deal effectively with life stressors the majority of the time.

For some people, however, challenges can seem overwhelming, which may even lead to thoughts of suicide. Risk Factors for suicide include anything that makes it more likely that a person will attempt to take his or her own life, such as:

  • Relationship problems
  • Legal challenges
  • Financial issues
  • Medical problems
  • Sleep concerns
  • Workplace challenges, or
  • Family problems

These stressors may or may not be known to others. For this reason, it’s important to notice changes in those around you, and engage with anyone you are concerned about. Ask questions in order to understand what’s going on, and provide support. It’s also important to recognize Risk Factors in yourself as signs that you may need additional support.

National Resource Directory courtesy of NRD.gov

Warning Signs

Warning Signs for suicide are different than Risk Factors. They are more observable, and should be responded to immediately. A common theme for Warning Signs is change. This is why friends, relatives, and coworkers are critical in detecting early Warning Signs of distress.

Many people who are at risk for suicide show changes in their mood such as hopelessness, depression, or anxiety. Other emotional and behavioral changes include agitation, anger, or irritability.

Changes in daily activities, for example changes in appetite or sleep, can be Warning Signs. These can include eating or sleeping significantly more or less than usual. Unusual or sudden changes in behavior, isolation, withdrawal, a loss of interest in work, or change in work performance are also Warning Signs. Even a positive mood change can be a Warning Sign if someone has been down for a while. It’s important to ask about the reasons behind the change.

And, finally, one very important Warning Sign is talking or communicating about death or suicide. All Airmen should be alert to these behaviors in others and be prepared to intervene.

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. One resource is the VETERANS/MILITARY CRISIS LINE, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The crisis line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the crisis line via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

COVID-19 Resources

 

Medical services are available at your local VA Medical Center and can be accessed by contacting the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator (or Women Veterans Program Manager).  Assessment and referral for sexual trauma counseling is available at all Vet Centers.  Onsite counseling is available at selected Vet Centers across the country.

Printable Resources Matrix

Additional Resources

Mobile Resources

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Check out these helpful Mobile Apps for your mental, physical and family health!