National Suicide Prevention Month: Recognizing Wingmanship contributions from the Mental Health Heroes program
By Senior Airman Kiana Pearson, 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 10, 2020
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
National Suicide Prevention Month is recognized in September. Due to the current pandemic and social isolation practices, there is an even greater reason to have discussions about suicide and mental health challenges at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
According to U.S. Air Force Capt. Katelyn Wilson, 377th Medical Group Mental Health element chief, the 377th Medical Group established the Mental Health Heroes program to promote Wingmanship and reduce the stigma of seeking mental health care.
“The Mental Health Heroes program aims to recognize anyone that makes a difference in their unit’s mental health,” said Wilson. “This ranges from life-saving interventions to those who are simply a positive force among their peers.”
Wilson said that peer-to-peer support is hugely beneficial to mental health and can increase self-esteem, improve sense of control and decrease incidences of psychiatric hospitalization. It is a powerful strategy to reduce substance abuse and depression rates.
Providers and staff in the 377th Mental Health Clinic review the Mental Health Heroes submissions and vote on the package they feel was most impactful. Winners are coined and presented with a certificate of appreciation.
To submit a nomination, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the member’s rank, unit/job title and describe what they have done to be a “Hero." All nominators will be kept private.
For more information on how Team Kirtland offers helpful resources to manage stress and overcome thoughts of suicide visit: https://www.kirtland.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2336598/kirtland-afb-offers-resources-during-suicide-prevention-month-and-year-round/