JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month and Joint Base San Antonio is preparing for a multitude of activities to help with bringing attention to this public health issue.
Getting the message out encourages JBSA personnel "to seek help" and that "support is within reach" and always available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Veterans/ Military Crisis Line — 800-273-8255, Press 1:
“The Department of Defense is fully committed to preventing suicides in our military community – every death by suicide is a tragedy,” said Dr. Liz Clark, Defense Suicide Prevention Office acting director. “We remain dedicated in our efforts to educate and support the force and emphasize social connectedness.”
The DOD Quarterly Suicide Report for the first quarter of calendar year 2022 shows a slight decrease in overall number of suicide deaths.
JBSA members experiencing suicidal ideations should know it is not unique to them and everyone experiences some level of life stressors at some point in their lives. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness or lack of resilience, but a sign of strength.
*New Resource* The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is an option for emergency care which offers free and confidential support in instances of suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the contiguous United States.
The JBSA calendar of events for the month can be viewed here.
Within JBSA’s many resources available is the Army Substance Abuse Office, or ASAP, program located at the Vogel Resiliency Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. This helping agency is available to all members of the JBSA Army community as well as other services.
One of the biggest challenges for those asking for help is the stigma associated with just telling people that they're struggling, and then the fear of reprisal.
“If you are having or know someone having suicidal ideations, we want you to know to go to your first-line supervisor, first sergeant or chaplain for help,” said Hannah Jeanise, Army Substance Abuse Office violence prevention integrator.
“If you are not comfortable with approaching your chain-of-command, you can go to one of several on-post behavioral health clinics, off-post helping agencies, or even call Military OneSource. We want you to reach out, we are here to help,” she added.
To view the ASAP office's upcoming virtual trainings, click here.
Members under investigation:
A resource available for JBSA Sailors and Marines is the Naval Medical Forces Support Command suicide prevention office. They exist to train sailors to recognize the warning signs of potential suicidal risks and learn the principals of resilience.
“Suicide prevention is about one small ACT (Ask, Care, Treat) for every Sailor, every day,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Caldwell, NMFSC suicide prevention manager. “There is no one and nothing worth taking your life for. You are too precious, valuable, and are an integral part of the Navy team.”
Whether you are a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman
there are resources available to you here at JBSA.
Point of contacts for suicide prevention are named violence prevention integrators, or VPI, and they act as Army suicide prevention program managers and facilitate the Navy suicide prevention program by providing pivotal notifications to assigned managers.
“As VPIs, our primary prevention goal is to create protective environments that prevent violence from happening in the first place. VPIs provide 24/7 non-clinical Suicide Prevention Program management and we partner with on and off-base helping agencies to design/support prevention initiatives and community outreach events,” said Marlo Bearden, JBSA violence prevention integrator.
Local on-base helping agencies can be found WEAREHERE or by using the JBSA Helping Agency QR code.
“We all experience life circumstances... some good ... some not so good ... but NOTHING is insurmountable, especially with the programs and services available to you at JBSA. Seeking help is a sign of STRENGTH!” said Steven Mayfield, JBSA violence prevention integrator.