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Two nations, many helping agencies, one mission

  • Published
  • By Natalie Stanley
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members from the 31st Fighter Wing’s helping agencies and Italian Air Force equal opportunity representatives participated in an exchange program with the Friuli Venezia Giulia region Equal Opportunity board, Dec. 7, 2022, at the FVG region EO headquarters in Pordenone, Italy.

The aim of the event was to discuss U.S. military and local Italian mental health and EO topics, share best practices and strengthen partnerships with the local community.

The event was a continuation of a prior collaborative working group focused on gender equality in the workplace.  

Participants of this event discussed suicide prevention, community support programs, sexual assault response practices, EO regulations and mental health programs.

For Tech. Sgt. Jill Dona, Applied Suicide Prevention Skills Training coordinator, the discussion was an opportunity to share how her ASIST training has increased her confidence to be a part of the mental health conversation.

“This event was very eye-opening for me as a military member outside the normal helping agencies,” said Dona. “The most impactful part for me was sharing and spreading ASIST as an effective training tool by asking difficult questions surrounding suicide prevention. I left the meeting feeling empowered.”

Italian representative, Dr. Dusy Marcolin, President of the FVG region EO committee, said she hopes this event is just one of many opportunities to further strengthen partnership between nations.

“I am satisfied with this active and important collaboration,” said Marcolin. “In thanking the attendees, I confirmed that we left with the intention of continuing to meet and discuss these topics and we hope to soon identify new topics to discuss.”