Team Travis lets Airmen know ‘You Matter’

  • Published
  • By Kenneth Abbate
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

“You Matter,” “You are not alone,” “One Day at a Time” were just a few of the signs volunteers held during a mental health awareness campaign event March 21, 2024.  

The 60th Air Mobility Wing Integrated Prevention and Response Office (IPRO) conducted a basewide “You Matter” event. During the event, Team Travis leaders handed out Helping Agency Wingman Cards to motorists at the gates while volunteers showed their support to their fellow Airmen by holding signs with words of encouragement written on them. 

“With the delivery of the Travis AFB Helping Agency Wingman Card at the gates, we gave our members the names and numbers to call when they need support,” said Ashley Chappell, 60th AMW/IPRO prevention coordinator. “Sometimes, this is the resource people need but don’t have when going through a mental health situation. If we got our members to read one of the signs, smile, honk or wave, we have accomplished our goal.” 

Chappell recognized the need to break down barriers and reduce the stigma around seeking mental health. U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Monzell Wiggins, 60th Maintenance Squadron flight commander, presented the campaign to IPRO as a way to let Airmen know they matter and there are wingmen who are here and care about them. 

“Being a part of this event was important to me because a smile can change someone’s entire day,” said Senior Airman Amanda Pritchett, 60th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron mental health technician and event volunteer. “I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘What if this is the only time a person smiles or laughs today?’ Working as a mental health technician, I see firsthand the outcome of what it’s like to be hateful or hurtful to oneself. Being able to bring joy to a person, even if it is just for a few seconds, leaves me with such great fulfillment.” 

According to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Derek Salmi, 60th AMW commander, the event was an important way for him and the rest of Team Travis leadership to build a connection with the unified theme of “You Matter”. 

“Overall, I appreciate everyone coming out for this event because it helps to build that sense of community and connection,” said Salmi. “The connection we have is what really powers everything we do here as a team at Travis and in our Air Force.” 

Forty-three volunteers and 10 members of Team Travis leadership promoted the “You Matter” mental health awareness campaign to members on the installation.