September is Suicide Prevention Month

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – September is Suicide Prevention Month, and base leaders are emphasizing the importance of primary prevention against self-harm.

Primary prevention emphasizes the importance of physical and mental well-being, as well as the important of developing authentic personal and professional relationships.  

“Our connectedness can act like a life preserver,” said Dr. Abby Cutter, doctorate in business administration and Hanscom’s violence prevention integrator. “When we feel a sense of connectedness and responsibility to one another, we feel more comfortable asking for help, as well as recognizing when someone else needs it.”

Throughout the month, officials will strengthen the Hanscom culture of prevention with workshops and trainings through collaboration with base organizations.

“We are calling for all-hands on deck to add visibility to these programs,” said Cutter. “We want every member of our community, civilians, enlisted and officer Airmen, as well as their families, to feel a part of the community and have a sense of purpose.”

Revolutionizing Suicide Prevention: Looking Through a New Lens is scheduled for Sept. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. virtually via Zoom at Meeting ID: 161 3960 7113 and dial-in 646-828-7666.

The presentation will focus on better understanding what true prevention entails. It will be offered again Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. via Zoom.  

Cutter is also partnering with Civilian Health Promotion Services here to distribute free gun locks at the Fitness and Sports Center Sept. 17 from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Gun locks create a time-based prevention by limiting a person’s ability to fire a weapon in the crucial five minutes after deciding to take their life, said Cutter.

In addition, a family suicide prevention training is slated for Sept. 28 at 10 a.m., both in-person at the Airman and Family Readiness building here and virtually, to help families understand what to do if they begin to see warning signs or behaviors exhibited by their loved ones. 

“Families see their members in the most intimate and vulnerable places,” she said. “This training will help family members and dependents identify how to talk about suicide and what their resources are.”

Cutter explained the goal of the 2021 prevention month is to close in on the causes of suicide from both a personal and professional angle.

“We want to be thoughtful and strategic about bringing skills and resources to our community,” she said.

Additional workshop links and dates will be published as they are scheduled.

Personnel can contact Cutter directly at