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Resiliency takes a village

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --      It happens to everyone. Life gets complicated, works gets busy and the end result is stress; lots of stress.
     The problem is that too often people don't know where to turn when stressed, and there is a stigma that asking for help makes you less promotable, less reliable or marks you as "that guy."
     "None of us are absolutely and perfectly equipped to handle the unique, ever-evolving  rigors of military service; and, occasionally, each of us may require, to varying degrees, some form of assistance," said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, in his speech at the Caring for People Forum.
     The fact of the matter is we all cope with circumstances that affect us in different ways, and we all might have to ask for help in dealing with personal issues from time to time. We must be open to the idea of getting help when we feel that we need it, and encourage
fellow Airmen or family members to do the same when they experience difficulties.
     There have been many Air Force lives lost to suicide with no explanation other than they didn't get the help they needed. And while suicide prevention is a complex process, one  Airman going without assistance is one too many.
     Tuesday we had a Resiliency Stand Down Day to hammer home the point that individual and unit resilience can be built or strengthened through mental, physical, social and spiritual support systems. 
     Anyone can be that person you reach out to: a counselor, a running partner, a friend from your book club or even a religious advisor. There is no perfect solution for everyone, but refusing to reach out helps no one.
     Being resilient does not mean a person avoids emotional pain and suffering when faced with a crisis. Instead, it means that he or she has a reliable support base to lean on, and is then able to recover and perhaps grow even stronger from the difficult experience.
     It cannot be stressed enough that true Resiliency takes a village. All Airmen - Officer, Enlisted and Civilian - are important parts of Team Patrick, and we need to be there for one another.
     For more information on ways to help you be more resilient, please contact either your supervisor or the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 494-5675.