Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam --
A Defense Suicide Prevention Office report stated that by the end of 2014, suicide in the military totaled 273 people. In the first nine months of 2015, 202 military members committed suicide.
How do we prevent suicide and get to zero?
A new suicide prevention campaign called Fight for Each Other, or F4EO, is bringing all military branches on the island of Oahu together with the goal of reducing the number of military suicides through a different style of training.
F4EO is an unfiltered, unscripted approach to suicide prevention.
“This is real people telling real stories,” said retired Air Force Col. Robert Swanson, a speaker at the F4EO events and suicide survivor. “Other training has role playing, PowerPoints and videos. They miss the point- they don’t have real people telling real stories.”
According to Tech. Sgt. Aubrey Pabon, a member of the 15th Wing’s Total Force Development Team and creator of the event, F4EO is designed with the idea that we as military members, no matter the service, are one family. F4EO brings five speakers from each branch of service together to share their stories of how suicide has impacted them personally.
Pabon acknowledges that this not a pleasant subject, but stresses the importance of education on a topic that has such a dramatic effect on so many people.
“This is something that needs to be talked about,” she said. “People may think that this is going to be a sad or depressing event, but the speakers are telling their stories and sharing how to find help to a temporary feeling or problem. Our intention is to have everyone listen to the stories of these amazing people and leave the event feeling better then when they came in.”
F4EO events have been scheduled in September to coincide with Suicide Prevention Month. F4EO will hold an event on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Sept. 8, 8:30-10:00 am., at the Hickam Memorial Theater. In addition, there will be four other events held on Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Coast Guard, Sand Island. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/fightforeachother/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf.
If you are in crisis, seek help by calling Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255.