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Integrating two agencies

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ariel D. Partlow
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
September, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, is the month that challenges the public to recognize and educate on the threat suicide poses to our society and how to cope with the feelings of depression, hopelessness and helplessness.

Suicide prevention training is essential to the Air Force and its sister services; but it doesn't end there.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection chaplain corps gathers quarterly for essential training, and this quarter they invited Laughlin Air Force Base to host this training in alignment with this month's awareness campaign. Laughlin's integrated delivery system partnered members of multiple base agencies, such as the chapel and Family Advocacy, to provide suicide prevention and resiliency training for the CBP chaplains.

Together, Laughlin members and the CBP chaplains covered the pillars of resiliency, ways to cope with stress, how to overcome overwhelming challenges, and how to look for the signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.

"We all want to build community resilience. A huge part of resiliency is the connections and relationships people have," said Aaliyah Negley, 47th Flying Training Wing community support coordinator.

This training not only brought two unique agencies together to give insight on experiences and procedures, but also strengthened their ability to work together.

"This training has brought us closer together with one of our federal agencies," said Negley.

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, suicide affects us all. Every year, millions of Americans are directly affected by the more than 37,000 suicides and hundreds of thousands of suicide attempts made by friends or loved ones. Yet, suicide is preventable; especially if approached with the support of family, friends and the community.

"We are all one community. We live here, we all work here," said Tom Parish, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Del Rio Sector chaplain. "If anything happens here in Del Rio, we'll all be working together. Gatherings like this help us create and build a relationship that shows we're here to help and support each other."