Military News

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Facing the truth about suicide

by Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

3/23/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- The Air Force no longer uses computer-based training for annual suicide prevention training and is shifting to face-to-face inactions.

The change in training is still fairly new, it was put into effect on Feb. 11, 2015.

"Our goal on this base is to have the training completed by May 18, 2015," said Capt. Jillian Lyons, 22nd Medical Operations Squadron clinical psychologist. "By having interactive conversations with each other about suicide and suicide prevention, it may help to break down some of the barriers that get in the way of Airmen in distress."

The CBT will still be available online in Advanced Distributed Learning Service for civilian personnel who are affected by the Union Bargaining Agreement, all others must attend the group face-to-face training..

All active-duty and reserve Airmen are required to attend the group face-to-face training.

"Our previous computer-based training was a good way to standardize the information and make it readily available," said Lt. Col. Kathleen Crimmins, the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program manager. "But it missed an opportunity for leaders and their Airmen to address the problem on a personal level."

The face-to-face training held will be one hour long with a 24-minute video and group discussion included. Training facilitators will be chosen by their unit leadership to lead different groups not exceeding 30 members.

"We always try to emphasize the Wingman culture, and this is another way we can do that," said Lyons. "Every life is invaluable and has meaning."

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