Letter to 926th Airmen: Connect, Be There

  • Published
  • By Mrs. Jamie Ellis
  • 926th Wing's Director of Psychological Health

926th Family,

For those that don’t know me, I’m Jamie Ellis, the Director of Psychological Health for 926th Wing. This month marks a very important awareness month, suicide prevention month. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. As you, all have heard there is a rising increase in death by suicide in our fellow Airmen. You may ask yourself what can I do, how can I stop this from happening to those that I love.

Suicide prevention is a topic, which can be focused on all the time, but September is nationally recognized as an awareness month. This month is a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We can use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideations to treatment services. The most important thing that you can do with suicide prevention is to be there for others. A person does not have to be in crisis in order for to reach out. Being there for someone can simply mean asking how someone is doing and listening for their response. Each week this month, I will be challenging the 926th Wing in different ways to connect and be there for each other.

This week’s challenge is fairly easy to start…..the challenge is to reconnect with someone that you would consider a close co-worker or friend and ask them how they are doing and try to find out one thing that you did not know about them before. The challenge is for you to engage in meaningful conversation for at least 5 minutes with this person, taking the time to listen and show care. Please send an email back to me about how this challenge went; your answers may be featured in #bethere #connection challenge.