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Chief Roy issues call for action in latest 'Perspective'

SAN ANTONIO -- In his latest "Enlisted Perspective," the Air Force's top enlisted Airman wants everyone's help to stem the alarming increase in the number of suicides among the total force Airmen, active duty, guard, reserve and civilians.

"We've had a drastic increase this year in the number of suicides among our total force Airmen," Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy said. "Last year we lost 84 Airmen by suicides; this year, we've nearly reached that number, and it is only October. Even one suicide is too many!"

Chief Roy said that Air Force people must take immediate action and get involved to look out for each other.

"Supervisors at every level must act now," Chief Roy said. "Get to know your Airmen better and understand their personal and professional challenges. This is not a time to sit idle and think this won't happen in your unit. No one is immune."

"Suicides range the spectrum of ages, locations, major commands and career fields," he said. "The two most common factors we've seen are problems with relationships and finances."

Chief Roy also pointed out to all Airmen that no one should be afraid to seek help for fear of reprisal.

"Military and family life consultants, chaplains and medical professionals are all available." he said. "Also, Military One Source counselors are always available by calling 800-342-9647 or visiting www.militaryonesource.com."

This viewpoint and other senior leader viewpoint can be found in the information section on AF.mil.