The Airman’s Edge Project: A peer-based, injury prevention approach to preventing military suicide
Baker, J.C., Bryan, C.J., Bryan, A.O., & Button, C.J.
In light of data indicating military personnel are more likely to reach out to peers during times of need, peer-to-peer (P2P) support programs have been implemented for military suicide prevention. Often designed to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors by reducing mental health symptom severity, existing data suggest that P2P programs have little to no effect on mental health symptoms. Conceptualizing suicide prevention from an occupational safety and injury prevention perspective to promote positive health-related behavior change at both the group and individual level may enhance the effectiveness of P2P programs and military suicide prevention efforts more broadly. To illustrate these concepts, the present article provides an overview of the Airman’s Edge project, a P2P program design based upon the occupational safety and injury prevention model of suicide prevention, and describes a program evaluation effort designed to test the effectiveness of this approach.