Helping Agencies Q&A: Violence Prevention Integrator
By Megan Prather, Staff Writer
/ Published August 29, 2019
Juan Flores is the installation violence prevention integrator, as well as the suicide prevention manager for Tinker Air Force Base. The Violence Prevention Program is preparing to highlight the importance of connections during Suicide Prevention Month in September along with the general training the office provides.
What are the most important ways your agency serves Tinker?
“The role was created because we knew that we needed to take a look at data and find a way to prevent the acts of violence that happen on our installation, whether it is interpersonal or self-directed. We’re really good at helping victims, but the new role is about how we prevent that (violence) from a community standpoint, not just individual agencies. Our helping agencies have all different data on things that they track, and my job is to look at it as a whole installation and figure out what we need to focus on when we pull all of this information together. For example, if someone from the Chapel sees somebody being bullied and then you have someone in Mental Health and other organizations on base tracking the same issues, we know that’s something to address. You don’t know how major the problem is until you look at the data and that’s what my violence prevention committee does.
The implementers that I train are also part of that education process around base. I train those individuals so that they facilitate all of the training on how to be a good bystander across the installation and understand what helping agencies are available if they need to tell that to their class participants.”
What are the common misconceptions about your agency?
“That we’re responsible for training everybody on Tinker. Each individual unit has their own facilitators to execute the Sexual Assault and Suicide Prevention training.”
What is your agency’s role in Suicide Prevention Month coming up in September?
“I’m now considered the suicide prevention manager. The position used to be in Mental Health, but when the focus became more about the community prevention piece they moved it to the violence prevention integrator position. Suicide Prevention Month is a focus on making sure people understand what resources are available, but the more important part is for people to understand that the primary prevention of suicide is connecting. It’s about family connection, unit connection and social connection. It’s important to have support somewhere when something goes wrong long before it is a crisis. We need to spend more time on getting unit cohesion and connectedness as a part of your everyday life.”
What’s your favorite part of working in this position?
“I’ve met a lot of people and have had enjoyable interactions. Getting to know the complexity of Tinker organizations and having Karen (Blackwell, 72nd ABW Community Support Coordinator) as a mentor, that helps guide me is a great asset and I’m achieving my goal of trying to help people.”