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Guide helps leaders manage people in distress

Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel In Distress  (U.S. Air Force Illustration)

Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel In Distress (U.S. Air Force Illustration)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force officials introduced 12 monthly initiatives in April to help Air Force members effectively manage stress, and July's initiative is "The Leader's Guide to Managing Personnel in Distress."

The guide was created to help supervisors, first sergeants and commanders recognize distress-related behaviors, provide support to Airmen in need and work with installation helping agencies to meet those needs. 

The guide provides a range of supportive intervention methods, resources and strategies for helping Airmen in distress.

"Air Force leaders often face Airmen in distress from a wide variety of life stressors," said Lt. Col. Steven Pflanz, the chief of the Air Force suicide prevention program. "While the guide is not required reading, leaders will benefit from having a quick reference at their fingertips to help these Airmen."

The guide covers 35 topics related to distress ranging from alcohol and drug abuse to recognizing suicidal behaviors. It focuses on helping leaders employ awareness and intervention strategies before a person has reached a debilitating stress level.

"The 'Leader's Guide' is not intended to be a read-from-cover-to-cover resource, but rather a quick and ready reference when confronted with Airmen suffering from distress," Colonel Pflanz said. "It is a powerful tool for commanders and supervisors.

"Leaders may not have time to research an issue before they talk to an Airman in crisis," he said. "With the guide, they can quickly familiarize themselves with key warning signs and helpful actions in just a few minutes. The guide's checklists provide a convenient, quick resource for leaders."

For more information, contact the base suicide prevention program manager. The "Leader's Guide" is available on CD-ROM and can be obtained from the base suicide prevention program manager.

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