Suicide and Mental Health Awareness
By Capt Tricha Weeks, 628th Medical Group
/ Published September 23, 2020
JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --
Life is filled with obstacles and stressors amplified by uncertainty related to the pandemic. As children return to school and parents return to work, managing stress in both environments requires a team approach to transition back into these environments and overcome difficulties. During these times it is vital to assist service members with adjusting to the work environment, help manage stress and find ways to remain connected while social distancing as pandemic precautions fluctuate. While brief periods of stress motivate us to achieve goals and develop creative solutions; extreme and ongoing stress can lead to financial problems, relationship concerns, job issues, changes in sleep and eating patterns or health challenges.
While everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, learning to accept uncertainty is part of building healthy coping for ourselves, our colleagues and families. Maneuvering through challenges provides opportunities to reach outside our comfort zone to connect with each other and develop new ways to adapt and cope. Overcoming obstacles and establishing daily routines decreases stress levels and results in better overall physical and mental well-being.
Psychological strength is critical to remain mission ready, thus, addressing psychological health concerns early is vital. To remain mission ready, find time for yourself, break down obstacles into small steps, engage in physical activity, avoid misuse of substances and identify people to turn to. Because stigma associated with psychological health concerns may keep service members from reaching out for help, leaders can help by creating a culture of support and trust, speak openly, teach the importance of psychological health, reach out and genuinely connect with struggling service members and guide them to resources.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions, experience symptoms that impact your ability to carry out routine daily activities, use substances to cope, or feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else speak with a health care/mental health provider or contact resources listed below.
- Chaplain (963-HOPE; Cell: 843-615-7888)
- Military & Family Life Consultant (MFLAC)
- Air Base (843-637-9847)
- NWS (843-371-6045)
- Child & Youth (843-708-3429)
- Military OneSource (800-342-9647)