From the Office of Violence Prevention

  • Published
  • By Mr. Jimm Harper
  • 301st Fighter Wing

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

We are losing our Total Force Airmen to suicide at a higher rate than in past 5 years.  According to General David L. Goldfein, USAF Chief of Staff, “Suicide is an adversary that is killing more of our Airmen than any enemy on the planet.  [We] have sworn to ‘defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Make [suicide prevention] matter.  Make it yours and make it personal.”  The way we address this enemy is by promoting protective factors and healthy behaviors (e.g., being good Wingmen, engaging in appropriate self-care such as exercising and getting good sleep, help-seeking early, and proactively engaging in healthy activities that connect us to our fellow Airmen. 

As good Wingmen, we can all do 3 simple things to protect one another against suicide and suicidal ideation: 

  1.  Create an environment where people feel connected to their peers and leadership on a personal level (Interpersonal Connection). 
  2.  Create an environment where people feel connected to the broader mission/higher purpose of their unit, squadron, and the 301 FW (Mission Connection).
  3.  Communicate that every Total Force Airmen in your immediate sphere of influence is valued for their work, their contribution, their humanity, their integrity, their thoughtfulness, their humor, or any other quality that they bring to the workplace and the mission (Valued Contribution). 

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless, is in crisis, or just needs some support, you are not alone.  Ask a trusted friend for assistance and reach out for support by calling the Military Crisis Line at:  1-800-273-8255 or Military OneSource at:  1-800-342-9647.

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