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September is National Suicide Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jim Bentley
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Medical Group

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  This month serves as a reminder to all Airmen to seek help when needed, and to support one another.


Connection with others is a pillar of mental resilience. Airmen are encouraged to rely on their support networks, and on one another, to ensure their positive mental health.


“It is important to create an environment where talking about Mental Health, and getting help is normalized. Airmen need a space where they can safely talk and not feel judged.” said Capt. Suzan Beattie, 332d Air Expeditionary Medical Group, Chief of Mental Health. “Whether it’s a breakup, financial issues, or being homesick Airmen need to know they can talk about what’s bothering them. Sometimes work is the only place some have where they might open up about their feelings. I would encourage leadership to foster a culture where talking about feelings, and getting help is accepted.”


Most mental healthcare visits are kept confidential. The exceptions are in extreme cases in which the Airman may be a danger to themselves or others.


“Overall, most cases seen in Mental Health are kept confidential and leadership is unaware someone is treated by Mental Health. There are exceptions and specific instances when it is appropriate to get leadership involved to ensure individuals are getting the support they need. ” Beattie said. “When risks of suicide, or other safety factors are identified, the focus needs to be getting the individual to the right level of treatment. While we treat a variety of cases, the majority of people we see are able to get treatment with no leadership involvement and no impact to work.

Mental health providers offer a variety of tools that are effective when early warning signs are detected.



“Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health,” said Tech. Sgt. Michelle Connors, 332d EMDG mental health technician. “Mental wellness is vital to leading a happy life. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It plays a role in how we handle stress, relate to other people, and make healthy choices every day. ”


For more information on appointments or walk-ins, contact the mental health clinic. Resources are also available online at visit and 332d personnel are also free to contact Red Tail Shield, a peer support organization that enables Airmen to reach out in times of crisis without having to go through the chain of command or official agencies. Their contact information can be found in the 332d Air Expeditionary Squadron Sharepoint.