CAP Talk

General Discussion => The Lobby => Topic started by: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 06:02:06 pm

Title: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 06:02:06 pm
Perhaps it is just me, but I think the focus on Resiliency in CAP is unwarranted. To date, no data has been published that I have found that necessitates this level of push.

Does anyone here have data that supports the amount of effort being put forward here?
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Eclipse on September 03, 2019, 06:24:44 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 06:02:06 pm
Perhaps it is just me, but I think the focus on Resiliency in CAP is unwarranted.


Agreed. This is more affectation of the Air Force and a lane CAP should stay out of lest they make it worse.

CAP have neither the manpower, expertise, nor contact hours to address this in anything but the most superficial
of ways.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: CFToaster on September 03, 2019, 07:25:20 pm
How, exactly, do you think the current CAP Resiliencey/Wellness program can make things worse?
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 07:56:19 pm
Quote from: CFToaster on September 03, 2019, 07:25:20 pm
How, exactly, do you think the current CAP Resiliencey/Wellness program can make things worse?


By bringing the subject up more often you bring it to top of mind, which is really the last thing a teenager needs IMO (when taught by people not trained in suicide prevention of youth.)


This is why the CDC for example has strict guidelines regarding suicide reporting in the media.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: etodd on September 03, 2019, 08:11:44 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 07:56:19 pm
Quote from: CFToaster on September 03, 2019, 07:25:20 pm
How, exactly, do you think the current CAP Resiliencey/Wellness program can make things worse?


By bringing the subject up more often you bring it to top of mind, which is really the last thing a teenager needs IMO (when taught by people not trained in suicide prevention of youth.)


This is why the CDC for example has strict guidelines regarding suicide reporting in the media.



^^^  When it comes to Cadets, we have them a couple hours a week. We cannot be all things to them.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Ned on September 03, 2019, 08:18:55 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 06:02:06 pm
Does anyone here have data that supports the amount of effort being put forward here?


Interesting question.


Let's see if we can find some numbers.


Well, suicide is the second leading cause of death (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2017_1100w850h.jpg) in the 10-24 age group.  Well ahead of any illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

(Forgive the youth emphasis, but I hang my hat in CP.)

Teasing some information out of the CDC's  WISQARS  (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html), in appears that the gross suicide rate for young folks in the cadet age range is very roughly 10 per 100,000.  Assuming that CAP cadets are no more or less suicide-prone that the regular population, that would suggest that we lose something like 3-4 cadets per year to suicide.

Which is roughly consistent with the number of reports of cadet suicide that we see every year here at NHQ.

Please note that this data excludes suicide attempts and ideation, which obviously affects far, far more people.  There is no comprehensive data available for "suicide attempts," but we know that in 2015, over a half million people were seen in an ER for treatment for self-harm. (No breakdown by age group available.)  According to a 2017 Youth Self Harm survey, some 7.9% of high-school students reported at least one suicide attempt in the last 12 months.  Applied to our cadet population, 7.9% suggests that roughly 2,000 cadets may have attempted suicide in the last year.  Again, assuming that CAP cadets are no more or less suicidal than the general population.  That is itself an interesting question, but we have no data one way or another.


Source (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/)

So, for the cadet side of the house, we have at least some data that suggests that suicide is a very real problem for youth in our age cohort.  And is undoubtedly affecting our cadets.



But back to your question, we need to weigh that against the "effort being put forward here," (to use your words.)

As near as I can tell, the "effort being put forward" consists pretty much of a working group of staff, experts, and senior leaders continueing to study the issue, and who have developed a Resilliency and Suicide Prevention Initiative to attempt to address the issue.  We have worked closely with our USAF colleagues in this regard.


As a practical matter, from the unit perspective, it involves an annual down day in October to discuss and teach resiliency.  And some modified lessons plans for existing training.


I can only agree that CAPs ability to address the issue is limited.  We are a part-time organization for all of our cadets, who spend far more time in school, and with family and friends than they do attending squadron meetings and activities.  And of course, our terrific volunteer leaders are not mental health professionals in any sense of the word, and our Chaplains are insufficient to have one or more at each unit.

But despite all of that, it appears that our leadership has weighed the issues, examined our resources and capabilities, and decided on an evidenced-based path forward to address this important issue.













Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: JohhnyD on September 04, 2019, 02:26:33 am
Quote from: Ned on September 03, 2019, 08:18:55 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on September 03, 2019, 06:02:06 pm
Does anyone here have data that supports the amount of effort being put forward here?


Interesting question.


Let's see if we can find some numbers.


Well, suicide is the second leading cause of death (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2017_1100w850h.jpg) in the 10-24 age group.  Well ahead of any illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

Assuming that CAP cadets are no more or less suicide-prone that the regular population, that would suggest that we lose something like 3-4 cadets per year to suicide.



That is the question, is that assumption correct? Me, I doubt it.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: dwb on September 04, 2019, 12:26:07 pm
Quote from: JohhnyD on September 04, 2019, 02:26:33 am
Quote from: Ned on September 03, 2019, 08:18:55 pm
Well, suicide is the second leading cause of death (https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2017_1100w850h.jpg) in the 10-24 age group.  Well ahead of any illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

Assuming that CAP cadets are no more or less suicide-prone that the regular population, that would suggest that we lose something like 3-4 cadets per year to suicide.


That is the question, is that assumption correct? Me, I doubt it.


He answered your question in the very next sentence. You just had to keep reading a little more:

Quote from: Ned on September 03, 2019, 08:18:55 pm
Which is roughly consistent with the number of reports of cadet suicide that we see every year here at NHQ.


I personally know of multiple cadet suicides in recent years, and unlike Ned I'm not a big shot who gets reports from all over the country.

It's tragic, and to the extent that CAP can reinforce the messages and best practices of youth mental health professionals, we should do that. Especially since the cost of implementation is low, and the potential upside so great.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: RiverAux on September 05, 2019, 09:03:54 am
Quote from: Eclipse on September 03, 2019, 06:24:44 pm
CAP have neither the manpower, expertise, nor contact hours to address this in anything but the most superficial
of ways.


As is the case for probably much more significant causes of death of senior members relating to heart disease and the other typical causes of death for those over 50.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: OldGuy on September 05, 2019, 11:51:39 am
Quote from: dwb on September 04, 2019, 12:26:07 pm
He answered your question in the very next sentence. You just had to keep reading a little more:

Nope. No where is there data on the rate of CAP members suicides.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: JayT on September 05, 2019, 12:12:19 pm
Quote from: OldGuy on September 05, 2019, 11:51:39 am
Quote from: dwb on September 04, 2019, 12:26:07 pm
He answered your question in the very next sentence. You just had to keep reading a little more:

Nope. No where is there data on the rate of CAP members suicides.


So is your position that CAP cadets don't commit suicide?
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: jeders on September 05, 2019, 12:41:05 pm
Quote from: OldGuy on September 05, 2019, 11:51:39 am
Quote from: dwb on September 04, 2019, 12:26:07 pm
He answered your question in the very next sentence. You just had to keep reading a little more:

Nope. No where is there data on the rate of CAP members suicides.


Quote from: Ned on September 03, 2019, 08:18:55 pm
Which is roughly consistent with the number of reports of cadet suicide that we see every year here at NHQ.


So what, you're saying that Ned, and by extension NHQ, is making up numbers about cadet suicides? Just because you haven't seen the data doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Eclipse on September 05, 2019, 12:49:12 pm
Quote from: RiverAux on September 05, 2019, 09:03:54 am
Quote from: Eclipse on September 03, 2019, 06:24:44 pm
CAP have neither the manpower, expertise, nor contact hours to address this in anything but the most superficial
of ways.


As is the case for probably much more significant causes of death of senior members relating to heart disease and the other typical causes of death for those over 50.


Agreed - and something else CAP doesn't need to be involved in.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Toad1168 on September 05, 2019, 01:47:02 pm
I disagree.  While CAP does not have the resources to open a full counselling program, we would be negligent if we simply turn our backs on the issue.  While we may not have hard numbers on cadet suicides, I'm sure we could do some research and come up with them.  Look at the Cadet Protection Policy.  While not stated implicitly, I believe we have a duty to do what we can to curb cadet suicides.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: CFToaster on September 05, 2019, 02:12:11 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on September 05, 2019, 12:49:12 pm
Quote from: RiverAux on September 05, 2019, 09:03:54 am
Quote from: Eclipse on September 03, 2019, 06:24:44 pm
CAP have neither the manpower, expertise, nor contact hours to address this in anything but the most superficial
of ways.


As is the case for probably much more significant causes of death of senior members relating to heart disease and the other typical causes of death for those over 50.


Agreed - and something else CAP doesn't need to be involved in.


Okay, I have a lot of bias toward action on this matter. Putting it all on the table: I'm a trauma nurse, so I see people in mental and physical health crises on a regular basis. I'm mentally ill, and have been suicidal to the point of crisis myself. My sister is mentally ill and attempted suicide with a high-lethality method. I have four other suicide survivors in my personal circle; I've lost two people I cared about to suicide. Also, I'm a CAP Health Services Officer, so resiliency training and primary prevention are among my responsibilities.

CAPR 160-1 lists among the responsibilities of Health Services Personnel:
h. Promote the Air Force's health, wellness and fitness philosophy.
i. Educate members about and encourage behaviors which result in increased safety, health and wellness including, but not limited to

Resiliency training, and the sub-components as categorized in the Five Pillars model, is consistent with these responsibilities. While I am aware every unit does not have an HSO, there should be someone at the wing or group level that can see to it that members receive this training.

While I agree that addressing these issues through CAP is a rather superficial approach, the efforts need to be looked at in the context of the larger community. Sure, we only spend 1-2% of our meeting time on resiliency, but it's worth considering that perhaps hearing this information from multiple sources may convince someone to take it to heart.  For example, a member's doctor or school counselor may encourage them to seek help if they're experiencing poor mental health, but if they hear it from their doctor AND counselor AND CAP, it may encourage them to get the help they need.

As far as the numbers debate going on ITT, I say it's irrelevant. If ONE member benefits from increased resiliency, it's worth 1-2% of our meeting time.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on September 05, 2019, 02:23:04 pm
Incorrect selection
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Brit_in_CAP on September 05, 2019, 02:24:00 pm
Quote from: CFToaster on September 05, 2019, 02:12:11 pm
As far as the numbers debate going on ITT, I say it's irrelevant. If ONE member benefits from increased resiliency, it's worth 1-2% of our meeting time.


This.  We had a cadet who was headed down that road.  He didn't.  Well worth the time.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: RiverAux on September 05, 2019, 10:09:28 pm
This just seems to be cherry picking among the many risks faced by all members in their non-CAP time.  I strongly suspect that we have at least a comparable, if not more, number of cadets killed in car accidents every year, but we're not giving or requiring extra drivers training for 16+ cadets. 

CAP doesn't have the the manpower or bandwidth to do all the training we need to do to carry out our actual missions.   Yeah, if we had the 200K members it would probably take to get us "fully manned" (in some sense of the word), we might have enough active members that we could direct some of them towards these sorts of activities.  While we actually are experiencing some real growth in member numbers over the last few years, we're not there yet.

Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Ned on September 05, 2019, 10:51:31 pm
Quote from: RiverAux on September 05, 2019, 10:09:28 pm
This just seems to be cherry picking among the many risks faced by all members in their non-CAP time. I strongly suspect that we have at least a comparable, if not more, number of cadets killed in car accidents every year, but we're not giving or requiring extra drivers training for 16+ cadets.



Statistically, you are almost certainly correct that we lose more cadets to accidental injury (including auto accidents) than to suicide every year.  Which is why we already have a strong safety program addressing exactly  those concerns. 

Really.  As I'm sure you remember from your mandatory monthly safety education.  Heck, the last Beacon had an article on vehicle tires.  I'm confident you must have read that before telling us we were ignoring vehcile accident safety.

Seriously, there are classes on all manner of accidental injury prevention:  axes and knives, downed power lines, passenger van safety, hydration, winter driving, flooding, lightning safety, and a whole bunch of others.

We do those already.  Every darn month.



Now we are also addressing the second leading cause of death for our cadet members.  What you are calling "cherry-picking" is just another word for "comprehensive."



Ned Lee

National Cadet Program Manager
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Live2Learn on September 06, 2019, 05:07:29 am
Not long ago school shootings and other firearms assaults were debated in CAP Talk. After due consultation the lawyers at NHQ said "we couldn't do safety Ed on that topic ... Nope!  Outside our mission!  Besides... we lacked specific expertise on the topic."   So, how is a blanket suicide prevention program conducted by untrained amateurs likely to benefit that very small minority of cadets (perhaps about as large, maybe smaller than potential active shooter affecteds)?   Is this a substantially different situation where rank amateurs -- using our Corporate Attorney metrics  -- should dive in?
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Ned on September 06, 2019, 04:39:45 pm
Quote from: Live2Learn on September 06, 2019, 05:07:29 am
Not long ago school shootings [. . .]  After due consultation the lawyers at NHQ said


You know that there is a grand total of one lawyer that works at NHQ, right?

QuoteHow is a blanket suicide prevention program


What is a "blanket suicide prevention program?  I'm not sure that anyone has such a thing.  What we have is a Resiliency and Suicide Prevention Initiative that involves a single down day each year (and some slight modifications to classes we already teach).  If that is a "blanket program," then I guess we must have one.

Quoteconducted by untrained amateurs likely to benefit that very small minority of cadets (perhaps about as large, maybe smaller than potential active shooter affected)?


Well, you've got me that our dedicated volunteers are certainly not mental health professionals.  But they are respected authority figures in the cadets' lives, and to whom cadets often look for advice and wisdom.

And as we discussed near the top of the thread, the best data available indicates suicidal ideation and attempts are a problem for thousands of our cadets.

Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Spam on September 06, 2019, 06:25:15 pm
How big is the problem?  Big enough that even one member is worth helping, since we swim in a difficult sea.


Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from a member here who read a post I'd made in a prior thread on this topic, and wanted to politely inquire about my own situation/mental health (which hasn't been great, I'll admit). He, an "untrained amateur", noted some observations I'd made and wanted to offer support in my case. While not a mental health professional, I truly appreciate his gracious and tactful call. *(Thank you, Brian). Living with depression and ideations and acting on them are not the same, but offering support is a gracious and kind act. That's true even (especially) when one might not get along well with, or might not know a fellow member closely, but are prepared to act out a core value (respect, service before self, etc.).


On the other hand, last night I saw that someone posted a vicious attack on another site referencing this Cap Talk thread in which he anonymously trashed Ned and other members here, insulted me, took cheap shots at CAP members who had suicided, and made unsupported wild allegations about deceased CAP members (the insults bother me less than the attacks on those who can't defend themselves). That sort of action obviously is cheap and small and easy to do anonymously, and is the ugly side of fallible human nature.


In 24 hours I experienced the humane and kind side of our volunteer group trying to address the problem, and read the dark ugly heart of it, on the same topic. I would think that at least having some sort of program would offer a bit of a counter balance to these vicious animals in our midst.


V/r
Spam


Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: RiverAux on September 08, 2019, 08:06:09 pm
Quote from: Ned on September 05, 2019, 10:51:31 pm
Really.  As I'm sure you remember from your mandatory monthly safety education.  Heck, the last Beacon had an article on vehicle tires.  I'm confident you must have read that before telling us we were ignoring vehcile accident safety.

Seriously, there are classes on all manner of accidental injury prevention:  axes and knives, downed power lines, passenger van safety, hydration, winter driving, flooding, lightning safety, and a whole bunch of others.

We do those already.  Every darn month.


Exactly as I pointed out in this 5-year old thread -- http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=19082.0  CAP spends way too much valuable safety training time talking about non-CAP safety concerns. 

Incidentally, the last Beacon was from Feb/Mar (at least as far as what is posted on the NHQ web page at https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/members/cap-national-hq/safety/safety-newsletters-2248 ).  The last few issues weren't bad. 
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Eclipse on September 08, 2019, 08:41:06 pm
Quote from: Ned on September 05, 2019, 10:51:31 pm
Seriously, there are classes on all manner of accidental injury prevention:  axes and knives, downed power lines, passenger van safety, hydration, winter driving, flooding, lightning safety, and a whole bunch of others.

We do those already.  Every darn month.


All spectacular wastes of precious contact time.

Quote from: RiverAux on September 08, 2019, 08:06:09 pm
CAP spends way too much valuable safety training time talking about non-CAP safety concerns. 


This.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Live2Learn on September 09, 2019, 01:33:52 am
Quote from: Ned on September 06, 2019, 04:39:45 pm
Quote from: Live2Learn on September 06, 2019, 05:07:29 am
Not long ago school shootings [. . .]  After due consultation the lawyers at NHQ said


QuoteYou know that there is a grand total of one lawyer that works at NHQ, right?



So, are you suggesting legal advice which was duly shared as NHQ's position was improper, incompetent, or to be freely ignored?

I get it that suicide is a serious problem.  I also understand that well trained health professionals staff suicide hotlines around the country.  Perhaps  CAP senior members might call on a cadet's behalf.  Engage a health care professional, or find another way to get help where it's needed.  The thought of Walter Mitty SM attempting an intervention is actually kinda worrisome.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: etodd on September 09, 2019, 03:40:36 am
Quote

I get it that suicide is a serious problem.  I also understand that well trained health professionals staff suicide hotlines around the country.  Perhaps  AP senior members might call on a cadet's behalf.


Underage Cadet?  Call the parents or guardians. Don't bypass them. They should be the first contacted, so THEY can handle it. About the only exception would be the Cadet claiming parental abuse, in which case the police should be called to handle it.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Live2Learn on September 09, 2019, 06:37:27 am
Quote from: etodd on September 09, 2019, 03:40:36 am

Underage Cadet?  Call the parents or guardians.  Don't bypass them. They should be the first contacted, so THEY can handle it.  About the only exception would be the Cadet claiming parental abuse, in which case the police should be called to handle it.


Best ideas of all offered in this thread.   What more needs said?
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: Johnny Yuma on September 12, 2019, 01:47:22 am
Quote from: Live2Learn on September 09, 2019, 06:37:27 am
Quote from: etodd on September 09, 2019, 03:40:36 am

Underage Cadet?  Call the parents or guardians.  Don't bypass them. They should be the first contacted, so THEY can handle it.  About the only exception would be the Cadet claiming parental abuse, in which case the police should be called to handle it.


Best ideas of all offered in this thread.   What more needs said?


THIS!

It's a voluntary program, an unpaid professional hobby of sorts. If a member is under that much stress that we need a Resiliency program then the organization has much bigger problems than not having one.
Title: Re: Resiliency and CAP: Just how big IS the problem?
Post by: TheSkyHornet on September 12, 2019, 11:00:31 am
There are a lot of personal issues that I help with when it comes to the people that work under me, whether cadet or senior member.

Sure, we don't have a formal program for all of them. But I do it because it's my job, not as their boss, but as their friend and mentor. I put the effort in because I care about them. I can't help everyone, but if I can make a difference in just one...


I've faced peers with suicide and depression-related issues in the past. Haven't really come face-to-face with it yet in CAP (hope I don't). But there are a number of personal matters that I can help with. Sometimes the tools are provided for me, and sometimes not (usually not). I hope I'm doing it right.