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    Suicide Awareness run at Sumpter Smith

    Suicide Awareness and Prevention Run at Sumpter Smith

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. James Bentley | The Birmingham Boosters Club and the Air Force Sergeants Association held a Suicide...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. James Bentley 

    117th Air Refueling Wing

    SUMPTER SMITH JNGB, Ala. — September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. The theme of the month this year is “Connect to Protect,” focusing on the importance of connecting with Wingmen who may be in need.
    Suicide is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 25 and 34. On average, 123 Americans commit suicide every day. Twenty-two of them are veterans.
    The Team Birmingham Booster Club and the Air Force Sergeants Association hosted a Suicide Prevention and Awareness Run at Sumpter Smith Joint National Guard Base last Friday. Airmen volunteered to run one mile per person with a collective goal of 22 miles in honor of our fallen service members. Participants exceeded their goal, reaching a total of 41 miles.
    In the operational environment affected by the COVID-19 pandemic interpersonal connection is a need that frequently goes unmet. As the base transitions to Health Protection Condition Bravo, Airmen have an opportunity to renew their support for one another.
    “This was mostly a welcome back for everybody because of the COVID; how we were split shifts for a while there,” said Tech. Sgt. Daniel Fulghum, President of the Sumpter-Smith chapter of AFSA. “We wanted to do something for everybody coming back, saying welcome back. We’re still a team, we’re still a family.”
    Wingmen can help prevent suicide by paying attention to others and following a few guidelines when they notice someone who may be at risk. One way to assist a person in need of support is the ACE concept, or “Ask, Care, Escort”:
    Ask: If someone appears to be having a hard time, directly ask if they’re thinking about suicide or self-harm.
    Care: Listen to their answers and show compassion for their problems. Letting them know they aren’t alone can help address any feelings of isolation that they may have.
    Escort: Personally offer to take them to a hospital, mental health clinic, or any other resource they may need. Reaching out and getting help is difficult, and you may provide the moral support they need.

    This article used information from and



    Date Taken: 09.18.2020
    Date Posted: 12.02.2020 12:02
    Story ID: 378461
    Location: BIRMINGHAM, AL, US 

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