When to seek help

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get treatment for mental health issues. Reaching out and letting them know someone is there to help them is the first step. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get treatment for mental health issues. Reaching out and letting them know someone is there to help them is the first step. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

Who are you going to call if you need help? Airmen Against Drunk Driving, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Mental Health Representative, Chaplain, Military family Life Counselor, Military Crisis Line, Military One Source, Airmen and Family Readiness Center and the Law Enforcement Desk. Save this number to your cell phone (321) 494-2273, for future use. (U.S. Air Force Graphic/James Rainier) (Released)

Who are you going to call if you need help? Airmen Against Drunk Driving, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Mental Health Representative, Chaplain, Military family Life Counselor, Military Crisis Line, Military One Source, Airmen and Family Readiness Center and the Law Enforcement Desk. Save this number to your cell phone (321) 494-2273, for future use. (U.S. Air Force Graphic/James Rainier) (Released)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Anyone can experience feeling low, down, sad, or depressed, but at what point do we recognize the feelings we experience are temporary and not allow them to overwhelm us?

First, I recommend taking the time to engage in enjoyable activities, or do the things you used to enjoy. Those who get over-stressed may tell themselves there is not enough time to watch a movie, go to the beach, or spend time with friends. Participating in activities is what may be needed to begin feeling better. Make time to read that book you have wanted to read, or try a new restaurant. When you make time to relax from your hectic schedule, you can improve your ability to handle what comes your way.

Second, talk to someone. Talk with a close friend, family member, co-worker, or wingman. They have probably experienced similar emotions and may have a technique that helps them cope. Isolating yourself may make your problems worse and can lead to a downward spiral. Sometimes, just sharing your worries and concerns with another person is enough to help you feel better. At the very least, sharing your situation with others may make people aware of what you are going through and increase your support system.

Finally, if you feel you have reached your lowest point, contemplating suicide, or are aware of someone who is contemplating suicide, seek help immediately and contact the 45th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic, go to the nearest Emergency Room, contact a chaplain, call 9-1-1, or tell a close friend, family member, coworker or wingman. Everyone has their own breaking point and seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

The Mental Health Clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays and down days. A mental health provider is on-call during non-duty hours for emergency consultation and is always accessible through the Command Post (321) 494-7001, or call (321) 494-2273 (CARE). For more information, call Patrick's Mental Health Clinic at (321) 494-8234.

For more information and resources, visit the Air Force Suicide Prevention website at www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/suicideprevention.