LRAFB boosts suicide prevention efforts after airmen suicide increase

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Little Rock Air Force Base officials say they're working on boosting prevention efforts after five of the base's 5,000 airmen committed suicide during the past 18 months.

Base commander Col. Mike Minihan tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that even if the number was one suicide, it would have the "full and undivided attention" of base officials.

According to the Air Force surgeon general's office, there have been 52 suicides this year among the military branch's 325,000 active-duty members.

Minihan says the Little Rock base is using training programs to help identify airmen who are in crisis but not yet suicidal and trying to create an environment focused on helping build resilience among airmen. He says training also has started for unit leaders to help reintegrate airmen who have sought mental-health treatment.

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