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PRESS RELEASE: Minot AFB kicks off Suicide Prevention Month Efforts


Minot Air Force Base is joining the Department of Defense (DOD) in promoting Suicide Prevention Month to educate the military community about suicide prevention, resources, and steps everyone can take to protect one another against suicide. Each September, the DOD observes Suicide Prevention Month to promote prevention resources across military communities and share ways to take simple action to be there for others and themselves.

Throughout September, Minot AFB will host and participate in a variety of events and activities to emphasize the importance of suicide prevention and highlight available resources. On Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, leaders, resiliency agencies and Airmen from around the base will host an official kick-off event recognizing Suicide Prevention Month. The kick-off will consist of a morning road greet where individuals supporting Suicide Prevention Month will be on hand to provide a friendly greeting to your day and touting signs made by Minot AFB’s group of teens from the various youth programs on base.

Afterwards, at 9 a.m. there will be an opportunity to hear from leaders addressing suicide prevention and awareness at the parade grounds across from the 5th Bomb Wing headquarters, building 167.

Minot AFB resiliency groups will also be participating in the Minot Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Oak Park, shelter number seven, in Minot, N.D. on Sept. 19, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“Suicide Prevention is an essential part of violence prevention,” said Laurel Gram, Violence & Suicide Prevention Program Manager for Minot Air Force Base. “Suicide is of such extraordinary magnitude and importance that it consistently ranks among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Suicide is an urgent, complex and multifaceted public health problem”

This year’s Suicide Prevention Month campaign slogan is Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach, highlighting the important role connections with family, friends, the community, and resources play in preventing suicide, especially in these unique and challenging times. Research indicates connectedness is a protective factor against some of the risk factors for suicide, such as loneliness or feeling like a burden.

The slogan reinforces how everyone within reach – leaders, service members, and families – can play a role in preventing suicide.

“Suicide Prevention does not begin in the Emergency Room:  it starts in the home, at work, in our clubs, our organizations, in our community….and it happens every day,” said Gram. “Our connections to family, friends, community and unit are more important than ever. It’s not about “who you know,’ but instead, “who knows you.”   Building connections: maybe we can do more and maybe we can do better. Connect to Protect.”

For more information of Suicide Prevention Month and resources available, visit www.dspo.mil/spm.

For media inquiries please contact the Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs office media representative, Mr. George Gutierrez, at george.gutierrez@us.af.mil or 701-723-6768.

Service members and veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Service member or veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans/Military Crisis Line for confidential support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800- 273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. Because suicide is a public health issue and scientific research indicates that certain types of reporting can negatively impact vulnerable individuals, reporters covering this topic can visit ReportingOnSuicide.org for important resources on communicating about suicide



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