Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

There's always help

by Airman 1st Class Meagan K. Schutter
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/11/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Resiliency has become a major focus of the Air Force in recent years as leaders across the board discuss the many avenues available for Airmen to seek help, whether social, physical, spiritual or mental, when they need it.

Keeping mentally fit is a constant challenge for Airmen, as long deployments, frequent moves, and living in new places around the globe can lead to extra stress beyond the normal stress of day to day work.

Staff Sgt. Peter Sittinger, 374th Maintenance Squadron precision measurement equipment laboratory craftsman, is an example of how mental fitness is one key component to Airmen resiliency, and how Airmen can get help dealing with the stress in their life.

"I was under a lot of stress at work and I was worried that I would break something if I lost my temper," said Sittinger.

The Air Force has a variety of avenues to help out Airmen who are struggling, whether it's talking to a Chaplin, First Sergeant or getting help from the mental health clinic.

"I realized I had a problem, so I went to mental health and got help," said Sittinger.

When mental stressors become too much to bear it can effect work and debilitate one's physical condition. For some, maintaining physical fitness can relieve some of those stressors.

"Doing pushups during the day helps alleviate some adrenaline that builds up," said Sittinger.

Physical fitness plays a key role in reducing stress and strengthening resiliency, but having support from leadership and co-workers plays a vital role in keeping a healthy mind.

The importance of recognizing the symptoms of overwhelming stress and feeling confident to take action, was highlighted by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Feb.

"Our Airmen are the ultimate weapon system we have, and we need to care for them," Chief Roy said. "Promoting the resiliency culture is the right thing to do for our Airmen, our families, and for the United States Air Force."

According to Sittinger, even as leadership continues to spread the message of resiliency, it's important for members to always remember they are not alone and have help if they need it.

"Just remember, you're not alone," he said. "If you need help, there is no shame or reprimand for getting help."

Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, contributed to this story.

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