NEWS | Dec. 14, 2020

JBSA Army Substance Abuse Program hosts suicide prevention webinar

By Rachel Kersey 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Joint Base San Antonio Army Substance Abuse Program hosted a Suicide in Schools: Prevention and Intervention webinar Dec. 3.

The webinar featured Dr. Jonathan B. Singer, president of the American Association of Suicidology.

The online event provided education regarding suicide prevention and awareness, intervention and postvention (intervention conducted after a suicide), said Hannah Jeanise, suicide prevention manager. More than 200 people registered to attend.

The attendees included Army and Air Force service members, educators, school liaison officers, counselors, military family life counselors, youth program specialists and veterans.

The webinar was hosted online to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and was the seventh of its kind.

“We expect to continue to provide webinars until we can meet face-to-face once the pandemic has passed,” Jeanise said.

Singer, a clinical social worker and associate professor of social work, framed the conversation around the theme of “A Life worth Living” and ensuring everyone experiences that quality of life.

“If we want a world where people feel like their lives are worth living, we can’t have a society that says that some lives are worth more than others,” Singer said. “Thinking through what it is that will help build lives worth living, we have to think in terms of our society – what are the ways we are saying that some lives are worth more than others?”

Before giving statistics on suicide rates, Singer quoted Dr. Jerry Reed, a leader in the field of suicide prevention, who said, “Behind every statistic is a tear.”

Singer also referenced Dr. Julie Cerel, former president of the American Association of Suicidology, whose statistics show at least 135 people are profoundly affected by the suicide of one person.

“Six million people per year are newly affected by suicide death,” Singer said.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, refer to the following resources for help:

  • JBSA Suicide Prevention Program Manager, 210-221-1696
  • Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Urgent Care (24/7), 210-292-7331
  • JBSA Family Life Chaplain, 210-808-0541
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7), 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Hello to 741741