As the weather begins to change and days get shorter and cooler, some individuals may notice a shift in mood, too.
This change in mood may be Seasonal Affective Disorder -- some people call it the “winter blues.” It is common to want to “hibernate” more when the days have more dark than light. The changing seasons, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the upcoming holiday season can all contribute to low feelings and frayed nerves.
Daily work stress, juggling family priorities and seeming barrage of never-ending bad news can also spark feelings of anxiousness and sadness. There are many Air Force and base resources available to help those who are struggling. Besides getting some daily physical exercise, sunlight and fresh air and limiting news consumption, here are some resources that may help you.
One-Stop Shop: The Air Force Connect app (https://www.afmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1731357/) is available for free on Android and iOS from the Google Play and Apple App stores. Be sure to add your place of assignment/employment as a "favorite" and click the "helping center" box for all local resources.
Employee Assistance Program: Provides civilian employees and their families with free, confidential resources and support to help manage normal everyday life challenges that may impact job performance and personal wellbeing. Examples include counseling, financial and legal services. All Air Force civilian personnel - including non-appropriated funds, or NAF, employees; Guard and Reserve; and family members may use the program at no charge to the individual or family member. The EAP provides the same services and access to care provided in the past with continued access 24/7 via telephone, website or in-person. Call 866-580-9078 or visit online at https://www.afpc.af.mil/Airman-and-Family/Personal-and-Work-Life/.
Affirmative Employment Program: The program is responsible for promoting positive action in all personnel administrative and management matters including recruitment, employment, and promotion. It is also designed to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. Ensures equal opportunity for all employees by evaluating employment practices to eliminate barriers based off of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.
For both military and civilian personnel:
- Chaplain: Meetings are 100% confidential. Chaplains do not have a duty to warn the command team. In fact, they cannot tell anyone anything an individual discloses, but will ensure the member obtains the necessary help.
- Veteran's Crisis Line: Call 800-273-8255, then press "1." Chat online by texting: 838255.
Resources for military and dependents
- Military Family Life Consultant: Does not create a record and will meet members anywhere. Youth or Adult counseling. Call 937-972-1054 or 937-203-6461.
- Military OneSource: Up to 12 free sessions with civilian counselor in the area. Call 800-342-9647.
- Mental Health: Call 937-257-6876.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text the Crisis Text Line: HELLO to 741741.