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Suicide Prevention page header.  In CONUS, dial 988 if you need immediate crisis assistance.

 

SUICIDE PREVENTION

SEE THE SIGNS, REDUCE RISK FACTORS

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911 or 988 for immediate assistance.
 
Suicide warning signs are observable and different for every person.  A common warning is change.  That’s why friends and family, relatives and co-workers are usually the first to notice.  People at risk for suicide may have mood changes, appear hopeless, depressed, agitated or angry.  It’s important to ask about reasons behind the change.
 
Watch for these warning signs:
 
  • Talk about death, wanting to die or killing themselves
  • Talk about feeling empty, hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talk about guilt, shame or feeling trapped with no way out
  • Talk about being a burden, withdrawing from friends/family
  • Developing a plan to kill themselves (online searches)
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Saying goodbye or making a will
 
​Suicide Risk Factors are stressful conditions or situations that if not discussed or resolved may increase the possibility of suicide.
 
Airmen, Guardians and families are resilient--they learn to adapt and overcome all kinds of challenges.  They deal with life stressors very well most of the time.  However, they are so dedicated to being there for each other, they may forget to seek help for themselves.  We all need help at one time or another--don't hesitate to ask for it.
 
Military One Source offers tools and assistance to tackle Risk Factors such as:
 
  • Relationship or family problems
  • Legal challenges or financial problems
  • Medical issues
  • Sleep concerns
  • Workplace challenges

Chaplains, the Family Advocacy office and other support programs are available at all installations.

Our website has a library of quick guides to help address a variety of crisis situations.

Get to know your support tools and teams--and use them--they are here for you. 

 

FAMILY TRAINING & RESOURCE GUIDE

Partners, spouses, adult family members and loved ones are often the first to notice suicide warning signs.  The Department of the Air Force offers an online training video, Equipping Family Members to Help Airmen in Distress, to help us all see the warning signs, increase protective factors, strengthen bonds and learn about the resources, offices and programs ready to help.

Frequent moves, family separations and deployments are part of the unique challenges of military life.  We manage those situations in addition to the typical stressors most Americans face--such as job satisfaction, relationship issues and financial hardship.

We’ve been helping military families face these unique challenges for years.  Let us help yours.

Click here to complete prevention training and learn about additional resources.

 

 

 

 

 

EACH AND EVERY DAY

  • Make time for daily connection--even the smallest moment can have a big impact for someone feeling hopeless or lonely.  
  • Be genuine, there is no special training needed to show you care--ask how someone is doing, then really listen to what they say and how they say it.    
  • Foster a culture of help seeking behavior, let everyone know there's no shame in asking for help.
  • Know the facts, seeking/receiving help is protected by law against discrimination  
  • Don't just notice that someone is showing signs of suicide risk (hopelessness, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, etc.,)--be an ACE--ask, care and escort them to the assistance they need.

 

 

STATISTICS SHOW, 5 MINUTES SAVES LIVES

                     Go SLO--use SAFES, LOCKS, OUTSIDE THE HOME storage to secure firearms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACE CARD - CLICK IMAGE BELOW FOR PRINTABLE CARDS

 

THE LATEST NEWS IN SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS

 

 

 

| DAF Suicide Prevention Program 15 Elements

1.  Leadership Involvement: DAF leaders actively support the entire spectrum of suicide prevention initiatives in the community.

2. Addressing Suicide Prevention through Professional Military Education: PME provides periodic and targeted Suicide Prevention training for Airmen and Guardians, specifically oriented to the individual's rank and level of responsibility.

3. Guidelines for Commanders: Use of Mental Health Services: Commanders receive training on how and when to use mental health services and guidance on their role in encouraging early help seeking behavior.

4. Unit-based Preventive Services: Helping-agency professionals partner with unit leaders to provide services at the work site to increase access, encourage help-seeking, and promote familiarity, rapport, and trust with the force and families.

5. Wingman Culture: Wingmen practice healthy behaviors and make responsible choices and encourage others to do the same. Wingmen foster a culture of early help-seeking. Wingmen recognize the risk factors and warning signs of distress in themselves and others and take
protective action.

6. Investigative Interview Policy: Following any investigative interview, the investigator is required to 'hand-off' the individual directly to the commander, first sergeant, or supervisor. The unit representative is then responsible for assessing the individual's emotional state and contacting
a mental health provider if any question about the possibility of suicide exists. 

7. Post Suicide Response (Postvention): Suicide impacts coworkers, families, and friends.  Offering support early is associated with increased help-seeking behavior.  

8. Community Action Board (CAB) and Community Action Team (CAT): At the Air and Space Forces, MAJCOM, and base levels, the CAB and CAT provide a forum for the crossorganizational review and resolution of individual, family, installation, and community issues that impact the force readiness and the quality of life.

9. Limited Privilege Suicide Prevention Program: Patients undergoing legal action who are at risk for suicide are afforded increased confidentiality when seen by mental health providers. 

10. Commanders Consultation Assessment Tool: Commanders use a variety of assessments (e.g., Unit Climate Assessment, Air force Community Assessment Survey, Airman Comprehensive Assessment) recommended by appropriate agencies, to gain insight into unit
strengths and areas of vulnerability. 

11. Suicide Event Tracking and Analysis: Information on all DAF suicides and suicide attempts are entered into a central database, the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report (DoDSER), to identify suicide risk factors and trends.

12. Time-Based Prevention/Lethal Means Safety: Time Based Prevention (TBP) is an intentional approach to suicide prevention focusing on the "means“ (rather than the "why") most often involved in suicides by DAF personnel and personal firearms. Lethal means are objects (e.g.,
firearms, medications, and bridges) used to carry out a self-destructive act. LMS makes a suicide method more difficult and slower to access when someone is at risk for suicide. Covered by three components: Communication and Marketing, Education and Training and Physical
Barriers.

13. Family Member Engagement: Family members are key allies in resilience and prevention. CABs and CATs should examine opportunities to increase family member engagement in resilience and prevention activities during biennial Community Action Plan (CAP) development.

14. Self-Assessment, Inspection and Evaluation: DAF self-assess program management and compliance on a bi-annual reporting basis (field surveys, etc).

15. Suicide Analysis and Action Boards (SABs): SABs bring together Air and Space Force leaders and subject matter experts to review suicide prevention and death data and analyses to improve prevention and postvention policies and procedures. SABs provide an opportunity to identify
potential gaps, raise lessons learned, and drive suicide prevention activities. SABs provide a continuous improvement function for all prevention activities included in MAJCOM/Field Command and installation CAPs.

 

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