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General Goldfein

"We in the Air Force are committed to optimizing Airman Culture. It is the personal engagement, the social connection and the sense of purpose that comes from being part of something greater than ourselves which sustains us in the face of adversity."

Gen. David L. Goldfein
Air Force Chief of Staff

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?

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

Be There

In any given year, over 40,000 Americans die by suicide, almost twice as many as are killed by homicide. The military is not exempt from the problem of suicide.

What do you need to know to effectively raise awareness about suicide prevention?

  • Daily connections can make a big impact on someone’s feeling of loneliness.
  • No special training is needed to show genuine concern for someone in crisis.
  • Suicide prevention is very much a leadership issue, which means leaders should create climates in which Service Members are encouraged to seek the help they need.
  • When members of the military get behavioral health care, they are protected against discrimination by law.
  • There are important signs of suicide risk that can be identified: Hopelessness, Anxiety, Self-destructive behavior (for example, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as talking about death)
Air Force Medicine

Crisis Resources

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press 1

If you or a servicemen you know is experiencing a crisis, use this confidential, toll-free crisis line to reach caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders. The Veterans Crisis Line can also be reached by text at 838255, or through online chat.

MTF Locator

The MTF Locator is a convenient tool that you can use to locate the Military Treatment Facility nearest to you by searching on a map, by zip code, or geographic region.

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