This past week, thirty 4 Wing members completed the initial Sentinel qualification course. This training, led by Padre Megan Jones, included participants from various units across the Wing. The Sentinel Program is a peer support network of trained volunteers from all rank levels. Through their presence within their units, Sentinels play an important role in identifying and supporting colleagues in distress. Military members who are in distress may find it difficult to ask for help for any number of reasons; including stigmas, feelings of isolation and socialpressures. Sentinels are trained to keep an eye out for signs of distress and direct colleagues to the appropriate supports on the Wing. There are currently over 300 trained 4 Wg Sentinels.
During this Sentinel training, members had a chance to learn about various resources and supports from across the Wing. They received briefings from helping professionals who can help our struggling colleagues and their family members. Sentinels heard from Nikita Proulx, the Family Liaison Officer at the 4 Wing MFRC; Sgt Amanda Proctor who provided an overview on the Positive Space Program and SLT Pinsonneault who explained the various services a Personnel Selection Officer can provide.
That same week, several of the newly trained Sentinels joined with other Sentinels from across the Wing to attend a two-day ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) course coordinated through the MFRC. ASIST teaches participants to recognize someone who may be having thoughts of suicide and works with them to create a safety plan. This training will strengthen the skills of our peer support Sentinels who provide essential support for our 4 Wg members and their families.
Thinking of becoming a Sentinel? Please contact your Unit Chaplain or Padre Megan Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or at 780-840-8000 ext. 8167.