HomeNewsArticle Display

Suicide prevention takes courage, communication, official says

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Veterans Affairs Department has named September National Suicide Prevention Month, but the Defense Department continues its year-round, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the issue of suicide in the military, a Pentagon official said Aug. 21.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, military deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, said DOD will broaden suicide prevention programs and resources to increase awareness, prevention and understanding across the force.

Leadership focus
“Suicide prevention is about taking care of each other and that’s a responsibility leaders have to focus on year-round, daily, weekly, monthly … not just in the month of September,” Linnington said.

According to the Department of Defense Suicide Event Report, the 2012 suicide rate (expressed as a number per 100,000 service members) for the active component was 22.7 and for the reserve components was 24.2. Across the services in 2012, 155 Soldiers committed suicide, as did a total of 57 Airmen, 59 Sailors and 47 Marines.

DOD will focus on total force fitness programs to build mental, physical and spiritual resilience in service members and their families with a focus on training and education for leaders and teams across the military to proactively recognize suicide signs and encourage communication.

Access to medical care
Additionally, DOD will continue to direct efforts to enhance medical care, the general said. The department, he said, “has spent a tremendous amount of leader attention and resources on improving access to care, the quality of care and the ability of service members to seek care in an anonymous nature if that’s what they choose to do.”

Linnington stressed the importance of leaders understanding the array of medical and resilience resources and their entry points.

Help for service members
Military Crisis Line and Military OneSource, he noted, are among the many resources that demonstrate the partnership between DOD and the VA, and give service members an anonymous ability to call-in or engage in online chats to access immediate help.

Newer peer-to-peer networks such as Vets4Warriors have also emerged as valuable resources, he said.

In many instances, however, the first people service members can go to for help can be members of the military family, the general said.

“Having walked in our shoes … I think it’s clear that service members are comfortable around those that serve with them and have shared experiences,” he said.

No stigma
There should be no stigma attached to seeking help, Linnington said.

“Getting help when you need it is not only a sign of strength, but it works,” he said. “Having the confidence to seek help when you need it is important.”

Linnington also championed positive, energetic, command climates at all levels.

Leadership support
“If leaders support the rehabilitation and resilience of their service members, then … that opens the door for service members to go out and seek help,” he said.

The general debunked the notion that seeking help could negatively impact a military career.

“One suicide is one too many and leaders throughout the military will do whatever it takes to prevent suicide,” he said.

Engage

Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: One of the reasons our CAOC can contest against any opponent is the coalition’s ability to utilize each nation's assets to de…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “COVID-19 remains a global challenge that no nation can face alone. Our strong network of alliances and partnerships is c…
Twitter
“If we don’t learn to do software well, then we’ve already lost. Software is what binds everything together." - Dr.… https://t.co/XeP8LG6MFY
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Make sure you're still washing your hands and following CDC precautionary guidelines to help protect yourself and other…
Twitter
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: There are rarely parades or accolades given to those in the business of anticipating and avoiding catastrophic enemy a…
Twitter
One pilot was killed when a U.S. Air Force F-16CM Fighting Falcon assigned to Shaw Air Force Base crashed at approx… https://t.co/iBc3rCDzSw
Twitter
Senior Airman Ezra Chavez, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight, dons a new EOD 10 bomb suit @AirAviano. The sui… https://t.co/7AxzoWTNGf
Twitter
.@910AW maintenance Airmen are planning to save costs and increase efficiency with a new 3D printer. @USAFReservehttps://t.co/fOUWO8YhKs
Twitter
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning & control system, or AWACS, aircraft w/ an integrated command & control battl… https://t.co/qM1mXkvqow
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen conducted airborne training to maintain operational readiness at Joint Base Elmendorf-Rich… https://t.co/5ivZf24ay8
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Know your #rights: Service members are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a law designed to ease financial bur…
Twitter
“Publishing JADO doctrine is a first step in changing how we think and conduct operations with the reemergence of g… https://t.co/9wnN5ILNS2
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Have you checked @AFWERX’s #DisruptiveAF🎙pod? Check it out! https://t.co/NAMYv6OSLd
Twitter
The 317th Airlift Wing @DyessAFBase recently finished the first round of the new 4/12 C-130 deployment cycle. The c… https://t.co/Pw9tw2NIqq
Twitter
We control the air in this multi-domain fight! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/6SYQwbs2ym
Twitter
They called it "the biggest test of @NATO Allies’ ability" in years. #TotalForce #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/brNWrvaMch
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein visited @RobinsAFB_GA to get updates on the installation. He heard about how missions have progre… https://t.co/4Hvz5ZvRJ8
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,245,846
Follow Us