Suicide awareness, Team Swamp Fox is here to help those in need

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Stephen Hudson
  • 169th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs


September is National Suicide Awareness Month, and there are places here at McEntire where Airmen can turn for help in times of need.  

"Suicide prevention is a community effort," said Paul Wade, wing Director of Psychological Health. "We need to raise awareness on the risk factors and warning signs."

Wade said his door is always open and there are resources available to anyone who needs help.

At McEntire there is a Wing Care Team comprised of the Director of Psychological Health, the wing Chaplain Staff and Family Programs available anytime to help.

"When a person feels stuck, feeling like it just doesn't matter anymore, or they believe there's no way out of a situation, this is when suicidal thoughts or actions may occur," said Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman, wing chaplain for the 169th Fighter Wing. "The best way to prevent suicide is identify the problems before a person gets to the point where suicide feels like the only path left."

Factors that lead to increased risks are lack of social support, employment or financial difficulties and relationship issues. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in this country.

Knowing the warning signs of someone thinking about suicide are key to helping them get the assistance needed. These warning signs include,

·         Talk about dying or hurting themselves
·         Self-destructive behaviors such as excessive drinking or reckless driving
·         Extreme behavioral changes
·         Changes in hygiene
·         Isolation from friends and family

Anyone who suspects a coworker, friend or family member may harm themselves should seek help immediately.

If someone is thinking of hurting themselves, there are other places they can turn for help. Anyone can call the SCNG Behavioral Health Care Line, open around the clock every day, at 1-800-681-2558.  The National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-8255.