“This course does an excellent job of raising awareness and providing a set of tools/guidance on how to recognize a person at risk and to intervene. Those who are grieving often lose hope. This course will help me identify grievers who may be suicidal and be able to intervene on their behalf.” BJ Spanos Grief Recovery Specialist
Participants help pay it forward for the next workshop by making a one time donation. Beginning with the kick-off of the 4th annual Challenge each workshop will have their own team.
Become a monthly partner and help underwrite the work of personal intervention. In 2015 AFM conducted more than 150 successful suicide interventions. Standing with those who are at risk is made possible by those who stand with us.
On December 15th Armed Forces Mission (AFM) and Fayetteville First Baptist Church kicked off the 4th annual I Will Intervene Challenge. 40 participants took part in the one day workshop in suicide intervention utilizing the Listen Learn Lead Suicide Intervention Training model. Unlike previous workshops in the Challenge, the December 15 workshop marked the first collaborative effort to bring together a broader spectrum of the community. One fourth of those attending were personnel from the Peachtree City Police Department and the Fayette and Cobb County Sherriff’s Offices, one fourth came from the mental health community and the remainder were from the non-profit, faith, or veteran community. SGT Jeremy Gibson with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office was thankful to have Law Enforcement and the public working together and stated, “One can never learn too much or always have one way to respond to a situation.” Peachtree City Policeman, Rhavay Hines said, “I’m greatly appreciative of the course and because of it I feel as if I’m better equipped/prepared to converse with someone whom may be suicidal.” Peachtree City Police Chief Janet Moon stopped by to share words of encouragement to the group that it takes the effort of all working together to build strong community. This was also the first time AFM has ever been able to offer the workshop free of charge to participants. We are very appreciative of Coweta-Fayette EMC, Fayette County Board of Realtors, local churches and our community partners who helped to underwrite the program and to Becky Smith at Fayette FACTOR for helping to get the word out that made this workshop one of the most well attended of the year. It was also a great way to kick off the 4th annual I Will Intervene Challenge. Since inception of the Challenge, more than 3900 individuals have participated in awareness seminars and in-depth skills development workshops. In 2013 Fayette County experienced a 50% reduction in suicide and a 20 year low while surrounding counties stayed the same or saw increases. While there is no way of knowing the extent to which AFM and those trained influenced those numbers we do know that AFM was directly involved in many successful interventions within the county during that year. We also believe that training makes a difference by raising awareness and giving individuals the confidence to intervene when they see someone who is hurting. While a significant number of participants have had previous experience in intervention of those at risk, 55% of participants stated that because of the class they had a significantly higher likelihood of intervening in the future. As community member Heidi Bolton said, “This training made me more aware of the prevalence of suicide, and gave me the confidence to ask a person if they are suicidal.” AFM will offer several workshops in Fayette County in 2016.