Sunshine Burgess, left, attends a resiliency workshop with other Air Force spouses at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES
Sunshine Burgess, left, attends a resiliency workshop with other Air Force spouses at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

Air Force turns to spouses for help in combating suicide in the ranks

by Seth Robson
Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Spouses may spot suicidal tendencies or mental health issues that an airman hides at work, according to servicemembers and spouses involved in a resiliency workshop Thursday at the home of U.S. Forces Japan in Tokyo.

About a dozen Yokota-based Air Force spouses joined the workshop, which mirrored the sort of resiliency training airmen get, said 374th Operations Support Squadron 1st Sgt. Arthur Scruggs, who oversaw the event.

The gathering, which included sharing information on skills that help people cope while a servicemember is deployed, took place as the Air Force stands down units to focus on resiliency and suicide prevention on the orders of Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

In a video running on the American Forces Network this month, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright tells viewers that 78 airmen have died by suicide so far this year - 28 more than had taken their own lives at the same point in 2018.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.596320

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