JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
The JIPT has been working with commanders across the base to provide solution-driven prevention seminars for the community. Through the strengthening of local, private, state and community partnerships, the JIPT offers various methods of counseling, financial services, child care, employment workshops, parenting classes, school liaison services and education analysis, etc.
“To sustain a stable and resilient community, Airmen and Soldiers must ask themselves what they are doing to contribute, whether positively or negatively in when it comes to violence and suicide prevention,” Mary Jernigan, JBER Violence Prevention integrator and Green Dot Program manager. “This is as personal and close to home as it gets. When it comes to violence prevention, as helping agencies, the need is to shift our way of thinking. Now that we know the kind of influence and power we have as bystanders, let’s take it one step further and be proactive.”
To change this focus, a clear distinction between response and prevention must be made.
Even though the four bystander steps are considered proactive – recognizing the warning signs, understanding the barriers to intervening, intervening by directing, delegating or distracting, and strengthening the protective factors associated with sexual assault and suicide prevention – they are by nature reactive, said Jernigan.
Two guest speakers from Alteristic provided attendees an opportunity to learn ways of shifting the response paradigm to a prevention paradigm. Alteristic is a social accelerator organization tackling societal issues at local, national, and global levels.
The training was both influential and essential because it is important for key leaders in the community to work cohesively to bring about the necessary change, said Frederica Norman, seminar attendee and 673d Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant and Key Spouse Program manager.
“The hope we have is for JBER’s community members to access and benefit from its community partners and in turn, directly influence positive change both in and outside the gates,” Jernigan said. “As leaders and supervisors, we need to address problems with our subordinates when we see them, attacking the problems when they are small instead of waiting for them to fester or grow larger. The future health and well-being of the person next to us affects all of our futures. If one person is down, we are all affected in some way. Yes, problems are out there in many different forms, but we want to change the focus to solutions.”