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:
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:
Chaplains, the Family Advocacy office and other support programs are available at most active duty 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.
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.
Lethal Means Safety in suicide prevention involves making a method less available and less likely to cause death in a suicide attempt. The goal is to make suicide methods - or means - more difficult to access when someone is at risk for suicide. #MinutesMatter
Hill AFB Airmen have an opportunity to build community relationships by connecting with local host families through Trips for Troops.Layton Mayor Joy Petro established T4T as a fun, stress-free way to unite Airmen with members of the local community in an effort to break the monotony of living
An AFLCMC security specialist uses her passion for animals as a volunteer dog handler for Ohio-based charity.
To help those who may be considering ending their own lives, Senior Airman Ronald Merritt and “Ty” Warner penned and recorded “No one Answers,” a heartfelt call to action for anyone struggling with depression. They also performed the track at the monthly chapel luncheon Sept. 13, 2023, at the Chapel
September is designated as Suicide Prevention Month, a time when the Department of Defense brings added attention to the complex issue of suicide and emphasizes the valuable resources and support available year-round for active-duty service members as well as their families, veterans, retirees and
JB MDL hosted a Suicide Prevention Day with a 5K run, sports and activities to help promote suicide awareness and prevention, and connect service members with available resources.
The Integrated Primary Prevention office held their third Annual Flag Planting for Suicide Prevention month, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Sept. 6, 2023. The IPP office and 62 volunteers planted flags along Missile Avenue to represent the 358 Airmen that lost their lives due to suicide last
September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, and base leaders are emphasizing the importance of primary prevention against self-harm. Primary prevention focuses on developing connectedness amongst peers, as well as strengthening individual social, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Help is readily available, and professionals can help you and/or your family cope with things such as work stress, relationship problems, legal issues and substance abuse concerns. If you are struggling, reach out and get the support you need. You earned it. You’re entitled to it. You deserve it.
A commentary on the importance of connections at work.
“I am extremely excited we were able to receive these funds,” said Space Force Staff Sgt. D’Andre Floyd Space Force Gaming base ambassador. “This is a huge step in the right direction, not only for the base, but our community as well. This enables us to further amplify our message, build our
As the U.S. Space Force’s northernmost remote installation settles into a new year, it carries on a tradition dating back over 60 years. Surrounded by a tundra of ice and snow in sub-zero temperatures, Airmen and Guardians gather as elves for Operation Julemand, Danish for “Christmas Man,” at Thule
A focus on community brings a new approach to the “helping services” at the wing. A new Resiliency Operations Center brings them all under one roof helping build relationships face-to-face, person-to-person.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which marks a time to raise awareness and promote discussion of this often taboo and stigmatized subject.
Chaplains’ offices are a safe space. Chaplains have a higher level of confidentiality and are not allowed to share private conversations held in counseling sessions, and as a spiritual advisor, ensuring everyone’s right to confidential counseling.
No one fights alone.332d Fire and Emergency Services were the first deployed unit to be completely outfitted with the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Initiative’s Suicide Awareness patch. In total 45 firefighters received a patch, and they also sold
Senior Airman Maxim Meier represents the 7th Airlift Squadron as their suicide prevention advocate, sharing his experience as an attempt survivor every week to raise awareness about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and destigmatize mental health issues. On May 17, 2022, while on my way to work after a
The 60th Civil Engineer Squadron started wearing a “No One Fights Alone” morale patch Sept. 9, 2022, and every Friday during the month of September to spread awareness for Suicide Prevention Month.
Hispanics, Latinos celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
When it comes to the topic of suicide, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Stephen Tilden realizes that he may never find answers.
Base promotes heightened awareness for suicides
Chief Master Sgt. Robert Holt, the Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent with the 157th Maintenance Group, Chief Master Sgt. Bernard Cho, the senior enlisted leader with the 157th MXG and Don Roussel, the director of psychological health with the 157th Air Refueling Wing, chose similar depictions of
In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, the 377th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic and 377th Air Base Wing Violence Prevention Program are highlighting mental health heroes at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
This graphic serves to represent self care and mental health resources for Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech)
On May 16, 2022, Tech. Sgt. Gregory Mitchell, 377th Command Post noncommissioned officer-in-charge of operations, and Airman 1st Class James Catalanatto, 377th Security Forces Squadron defender, were among a small group of passerby’s who stopped to prevent a man from jumping off an overpass into
Suicide remains the leading cause of death in the Air Force. In 70 percent of total force suicides, personally-owned firearms were the most often used means. To curb this trend, the Department of the Air Force initiated a Time-Based Prevention approach to suicide prevention.
Service members from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing gathered to speak about suicide prevention awareness during a seminar with helping agencies across the base.
Chaplains and staff from the Tinker Air Force Base Chapel discovered a tasty way to support their National Suicide Prevention Awareness month efforts by sponsoring an ice cream social, using ice cream truck vendors at various locations around the installation.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Senior Airman Jalyn Acres, a bioenvironmental engineering Airman with the 157th ARW Medical Group, recently prevented the suicide of a friend serving on active duty. In the past few years, she has helped prevent others, too. Pease aims to develop
SafeTALK – Suicide Alertness For Everyone; Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe – is a suicide prevention program designed to teach Airmen and Guardians, federal employees and family members to recognize people who might be having thoughts of suicide. Through the safeTALK training sessions, people learn
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Air Force leadership resilience skills and behavior efforts are having a positive effect on stemming the tide of suicides and strengthening resiliency among Airmen and the “Total Force.” However, some commands are still experiencing high numbers of suicide
Three storytellers shared their experiences with overcoming adversity during a Storytellers event hosted by the Violence Prevention Team at the McDaniel Center at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 9, 2021.
Barksdale Airmen run at the Laps For Life event at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Sep. 17, 2021.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Why does leadership have such great influence on Airmen resilience? It’s because leaders, through their actions, create and support an organization’s culture.An organization’s culture can be seen as the “accepted values, principles and practices that an
“Eighteen veterans and two servicemembers, on average, complete suicide every day,” said Joel Smith, Violence Prevention Integrator, 914th Air Refueling Wing. “For every awareness month, we try to create awareness events – it’s about getting the message out, reminding people, so that they can take
Ten Airmen from the 162nd Wing completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) over the summer. The two-day training teaches Airmen how help prevent suicide by recognizing signs, providing skilled intervention and developing safety plans.
Members of Team Minot meet at the Parade Grounds for the opening day of Suicide Prevention Month on September 7, 2021, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
September is Suicide Prevention Month, and base leaders are emphasizing the importance of primary prevention against self-harm. Primary prevention emphasizes the importance of physical and mental well-being, as well as the important of developing authentic personal and professional relationships.
Minot Air Force Base is joining the Department of Defense (DOD) in promoting Suicide Prevention Month to educate the military community about suicide prevention, resources, and steps everyone can take to protect one another against suicide. Each September, the DOD observes Suicide Prevention Month
Many Airmen have passed through Mobility's Hometown since its activation as a multi-engine flight training school in 1943, the majority of whom regard Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma as a temporary stop for a small time in their careers. For some, however, Altus becomes much more than a short-term
Staff Sgt. India Dorsey, 647th Force Support Squadron Contracting office representative, shares how the important element of relaxation is an essential part of performing her best at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 8, 2021. Dorsey volunteered to be part of the work-life balance social
Many have traversed Mobility's Hometown to train, fly, or take part in what local leaders say is the foundation of Air Force rapid global mobility. Several of these Airmen, if asked, are quick to mention one name in particular when asked what gives Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, its hometown feel.
Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Kristina Rogers, 19th AF command chief, visited the Airmen of Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, March 29 to 31.
Officers from the City of Altus Police Department extended their knowledge during a first responder suicide awareness training on December 9, 2020, at the APD.
The spouses of base leaders toured multiple facilities across the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma as part of an annual leadership spouse tour, November 19, 2020. The tour provided an opportunity for the spouses to learn about wing resources available to Airmen and their
Joint Base Langley-Eustis Violence Prevention Integrator (VPI) Pamela Adams shares the risk factors of suicide as part of a short video series from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA, Sept. 22, 2020.
Nationwide recruitment is the lifeblood of the United States military; it allows members from across the nation to be trained for and assigned to military missions around the world. For some service members, this process is reversed, where they come from countries outside the U.S. and then join the
Hanscom hosted a virtual Storytellers event Sept. 22 during Suicide Prevention Month. Hanscom senior leaders named suicide prevention as a top priority and emphasized the importance of being socially connected as a community as a means to combat suicide. The 2020 theme for the Air Force observance
September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, and the Suicide Prevention Month committee is conducting a number of activities here to spread awareness of suicide in the Air Force along with ways to prevent it.
‘Connect to Protect’ is the theme of this year’s Suicide Prevention and Awareness month, which takes place each September. Throughout 2020, the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic has forced many to physically distance or isolate at times making it difficult to establish or keep relationships,
September is suicide prevention month, but the year of 2020 has been filled with pandemics, natural disasters and civil unrest. Since the last official count in 2017, done by www.cdc.org, suicide has taken the lives of nearly 150,000 lives and is 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Senior Airman Brian Whitcomb, 22nd Healthcare Operations Squadron medical technician, right, and Airman 1st Class DeMario Morgan, 22nd HCOS medical technician, left, inspire members of Team McConnell Sept. 1, 2020, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. There were 13 members that stood at McConnell’s
Today is the start of Suicide Prevention Month.
Technical Sgt. Daniel Rakowski knows what it feels like to lose a friend to suicide and never wants to experience it again. In 2012, a friend who had recently separated from the Army died by suicide. Rakowski saw firsthand how the Soldier’s death so deeply affected those around him – his family,
When we're physically separated, let's not forget to be socially connected.
“I felt alone. I cared about nothing, withdrew from all, convincing myself nobody wanted me around and that I was just in the way. Maybe everyone would be better off without me. I was in pain.”Senior Master Sgt. Michael Tesoriero had many negative thoughts running through his mind as he walked the
New and seasoned members of the military community alike know it can be tough to stay connected to friends and family. ...
Accountability for yourself and your team is one of the key pillars the 20th Fighter Wing command team has actively promoted during their time here. Most recently, Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, has encouraged members through open dialogue, social events, one-on-one discussions
Compliments, digging out a car buried in snow and paying for someone’s meal all have one thing in common: a random act of kindness to positively influence someone else or simply make their day better.
Col. Lee Gentile, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, addresses Laughlin personnel about feeling connected, respected and protected by their peers Aug. 2, 2019, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
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
Misawa Air Base, Japan was recognized for a second year in a row as the top Air Force installation during Suicide Prevention Month, at a ceremony in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, May 15.
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -- The news story shows a drone operation-the screen lights ups with a flash, followed by the crumbling of a building. To the viewer at home, it is a smooth, seamless operation far away. But to Capt. Joseph Siler, he would tell you that it took a team of highly-trained
Misawa AB members attended a suicide prevention awareness recognition ceremony to raise awareness and increase support for community members, Sept. 14.
The first time it happened I was a child. I was innocent to the whirlwind of chaos around me, ignorant to the tragedy of a self-inflicted death. I had experienced loss to death before, but not like this. The first time I was brushed by the cold hand of suicide, I could not understand. The second
September is suicide prevention month! “Be There”, the DoD Suicide Prevention Campaign theme, is an opportunity for our Joint Base Charleston community to have discussion of depth amongst service members, family members, civilian employees and beyond. As the director of 315th Airlift Wing Airman &
For decades, Air Force veteran Ryan Kaono battled through anxiety and night terrors alone. During his second suicide attempt in 2010, something in him caused him to reach out for help which ultimately resulted in a formal diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This veteran and his family are
Social media connects us to more people than ever before, but these contacts may not be the type that help build resiliency. Strong interpersonal connections play a critical role in suicide prevention. Used correctly, social media can be an important tool in the suicide prevention toolbox for
910th AW participates in Suicide Prevention Awareness month.
Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the risk factors and warning signs, which allows for conversations to open up. Providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm and following up with loved ones are actions people can take to help others.
Starting July 31, 2017 yearly physicals and checkups will now include a mental health assessment across the Air Force.The new initiative will give Airmen an opportunity to identify underlying mental health issues that otherwise wouldn’t be noticed or addressed. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
Throughout September, organizations across the United States make efforts to raise awareness of a mental health issue affecting many demographics. During Suicide Prevention Month, organizations promote the understanding of suicide by providing information about how individuals can identify warning
LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. – September is Suicide Prevention Month and was established to help raise awareness of those at risk of suicide and how to help them.
September is Suicide Prevention Month at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and Tricare officials want beneficiaries to be aware of the importance of seeking help. Suicide prevention is the responsibility of everyone, from the newest trainee to the most senior Airman.
No matter how tough you are, it is always okay to reach out and seek help when dealing with a personal issue or mental illness.
“Are you thinking of committing suicide?” Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training hosted here, March 8 to 9, teaches unit members and civilians how to recognize suicidal tendencies in order to intervene and render aid. The base director of psychological health programs coordinates this workshop
Imagine a wound so deep it gnaws at the senses – days, even months after. Some days the pain can be ignored, but others, you can’t get it off your mind. It wasn’t properly treated, so now it festers. Everyone sees the bandages and assumes it is taken care of, but it has yet to heal.On a Sunday in
Members of the 86th Airlift Wing came together to highlight suicide prevention and awareness for Suicide Prevention Month with two major events on base.The first event was held Sept. 22 at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center and featured different base agencies that can provide assistance
Prevention of suicide in an Intelligence community is something that chaplains and chaplain assistants with the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing are adamant about. They don’t look to reach a few Airmen, but every single one to let Airmen know Chaplains are there whenever.
At this moment, there are over seven billion people in this world; seven billion lives are separated by land and sea, cultural differences and socio-economic backgrounds, but fundamentally, our hearts beat the same, our eyes open each morning to the start of a new day and dreams of a life full of
The Air Force is determined to prevent suicide, but you don’t need to be a specialist or doctor to do that. Sometimes all it takes is starting a conversation. Everyone has a role to play. That’s a key part of the Department of Defense’s #BeThere Campaign, which encourages making a difference through
Team XL educated Border Patrol chaplains on the power of resiliency
In the classic 1946 Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart (who by the way flew 20 combat bombing missions in World War II, earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve, and was the Reserve Commander of Dobbins Air Reserve
Thoughts of suicide are not necessarily something people explicitly announce to the world, which means loved ones often have no idea that their friend or family member is contemplating it. But there are signs and risk factors, and while somebody might think they can’t make a difference by
All Airmen have a responsibility that last much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in
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
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
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.
Military Crisis Line
DOD Safe Helpline