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    69th ADA improves resiliency through personality classes and ACE

    69th ADA improves resiliency through personality classes and ACE

    Photo By Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf | Anthony Chavez, an Albuquerque, native and mental health technician with 379th...... read more read more

    SOUTHWEST ASIA – The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade held two personality classes and Ask, Care and Escort training with the intent of raising awareness of suicide and promoting suicide prevention at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
    The classes provide Soldiers with tools to define what type of personality they have and how to interact with those of with a different personality – possibly with someone going through tough times.
    “The purpose of the classes was to touch on subjects that have a direct impact on the mental health of the deployed Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Renae Alvarado, a Sacramento, California native and the brigade medical operations noncommissioned officer. “By building up the support system and self-esteem of the individuals you are giving them the tools they need to stay in the fight.”
    With the brigade creating a suicide awareness and prevention campaign, Alvarado arranged for Airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron to provide the Soldiers with some behavioral health classes.
    The first class focused on embracing the individual personality and self-confidence.
    “The class self-esteem class was meant to help Soldiers identify their negative thinking habits so they can change those habits out with more positive ways of thinking and improving their overall self-esteem,” Alvarado said.
    The class’s content involved replacing negative thoughts, being able to laugh at yourself and involving yourself with things you enjoy.
    “While deployed, we start to get into routines which would develop into habits,” said Staff Sgt. Nickolas Widtfeldt, an El Paso, Texas native and mental health technician with the 379th EMDOS. “I hope the Soldiers understand that they have the potential to do whatever they set their mind to.”
    The unit then transitioned to a class called the “Four Lenses.” It started with a handout which the Soldiers filled out on how they would react to certain situations and their perspective on events. They then compiled their answers.
    “Soldiers should have learned what type of personality they are,” said Tech Sgt. Anthony Chavez from Albuquerque, New Mexico and mental health technician with the 379th EMDOS. “I think these classes do really well in interaction, which is a key piece in suicide awareness and suicide prevention.”
    There were four possible color categories; green, blue, gold and orange. Green meant someone was a problem solver and is abstract. Blue meant they were friendly and they take time to relate to others. Gold was for those who were task focused, purposeful and predictable. The Orange category consisted of Soldiers who were courageous, flexible and natural leaders.
    Once the Soldiers learned what color category their personality’s fell into and read what traits and characteristics go along with that color, they were eager to find out what category their teammates fell into.
    “I found, that finding out what color someone identified with helped me to understand some of the people I worked with a little more,” said Alvarado. “Understanding the different colors and what their basic needs and fears are makes it easier to adjust the way I communicate with them.”
    With the airmen finishing their classes, the 69th ADA Bde’s chaplain, Maj. Thomas Gorrell, elaborated on the Army’s Ask, Care, Escort training to the Soldiers. He explained that if a Soldier sees their battle buddy struggling or going through tough times, ask them if they have had suicidal thoughts.
    He expounds that to really care for that Soldier, you need to actively listen to what they have to say. Then, escort them to professional help.
    He said, “If we genuinely listen and really get involved, we can save a life.”



    Date Taken: 09.10.2016
    Date Posted: 10.07.2016 03:06
    Story ID: 211517
    Location: QA
    Hometown: ALBUQUERQUE, NM, US
    Hometown: EL PASO, TX, US
    Hometown: SACRAMENTO, CA, US

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