VIDEO: Air Force Orders a Stand Down to Raise Awareness of High Service Member Suicide Rates

Ameera Butt
August 01, 2019 - 9:46 am

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On August 1, the Air Force ordered a one day "stand down" to stop operations and address the force's growing suicide rate.

In this year alone, close to 80 airmen and women have died according to a video message from Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Kaleth O. Wright.

To help deal with the devastating issue, the Air Force has ordered all units to stop operations for one day to address its growing suicide rate.

Air Force commanders are being told to stop most operations on a day that best suits their mission and gather their units to discuss resiliency and mental health and to ensure airmen are well.

"Our teammates are taking their own lives. We lose more airmen to suicide than any other single enemy," Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright says in the video below. "Even more than combat. Seventy-eight of our brothers and sisters have given up on life this year alone. Seventy-eight. That's 78 teammates, that's 78 wingmen, that's 78 spouses, that's 78 brothers and sisters and sons and daughters, 78...who couldn't find a single reason to keep going. That's 28 more than this time last year. If we don't do something, we could lose up to 150-160 airmen in 2019. We can't let this keep happening. This is our problem and we have to dedicate ourselves every single day to building strong and healthy airmen supporting and engaging teams..."

Watch the video here.