JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Suicide is a major concern in the military. By the end of 2020, military deaths by suicide jumped an alarming 25% from the previous year.
This lead to the Department of the Air Force launching family suicide prevention training as a way to educate spouses, partners, adult family members and loved ones on the signs and symptoms of suicide.
The community action team at Joint Base San Antonio is doing their part to link service members and their families with the right resources to meet their specific needs on JBSA or within the local community.
“Suicide prevention and increasing our Total Force’s resiliency to be mission ready is a priority across JBSA," said Dr. Aaron Moffett, JBSA Community Support Coordinator.
JBSA offers a variety of training, workshops and one-on-one consultations to support individuals, families, and leadership with programs that strengthen communities, encourage self-sufficiency, enhance mission readiness, and ease adaptation to the military way of life.
“Providing awareness and resources is vital in supporting all JBSA personnel,” said Tonya Lee, JBSA Violence Prevention Integrator. “This shows our people that we care and that there are resources available to them 24/7.”
One event of note that the Community Action Team hosts is "We Care Day."
“We Care Day is important to demonstrate the passion that helping agencies have in building and supporting health and resiliency in the military community," said Wendy Cole, JBSA community readiness consultant.
“Positive affirmations from another person increases social connectedness and positive emotions," Moffett added. "Through these projects, the team is building positive rapport with the Total Force and letting them know that we care about them.”
Other programs developed are the Dorm Resiliency Project, Master Resiliency Trainers and Resiliency Training Assistants programs. Through these programs, CAT members are helping build resiliency and improve their quality of life. While COVID-19 has modified the way these events look, the impact they have is still prevalent.
“The CAT recognizes the potential negative impacts of social distancing with increased suicide rates in 2020," Moffett explained. “We want to make sure people are staying connected while following COVID protocols at all of our events.”
All events are open to all JBSA personnel. Services provided by JBSA-Military & Family Readiness are open to all branches of services, active duty, Reservists, National Guard, retirees, surviving spouses, families and DOD civilians.
Additional M&FRC program information can be found on the JBSA M&FRC Facebook Page.
The JBSA M&FRC Calendar of Events for all three locations posts every other month at: www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/.
The M&FRC is open for in-person business and is offering classes virtually. There is still a weekly flyer of virtual classes for all three M&FRC locations posted every Tuesday at www.facebook.com/mfrcjbsa.