TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WMBB) — American service members face challenges simply because of the demands of their jobs.

Pressure, stress and depression can lead to suicide or violent episodes.

Tyndall Air Force Base encourages personnel to take advantage of the resources and counseling the base offers.

“There was a time in my life where I attempted to take my own life and it was a really rough time,” Violence Prevention Integrator Chas Higgins said.

After a 23-year career, Higgins retired from the Air Force where he was a non-commissioned officer in logistics.

Retirement left him with a lot of uncertainty.

“I had financial issues, I was living out of my car over at East Bay Park, I lived in my car for four months, I showered in the gym every morning. My family was not here with me because I had just gotten off of a remote tour so I didn’t have that aspect.”

After recovering, Higgins wanted to use his experience to help others.

For the past eight years, he’s taught violence and suicide prevention at Tyndall Air Force Base to hopefully prevent airmen from walking down that same dark path.

As a suicide survivor, Higgins said suicide is 100 percent preventable.

“People don’t die by suicide because they want to die. They die because they don’t know how to live. I really took that to heart and that really just shifted my mindset and when I heard that it just blew me away. So I teach people how to live,” Higgins said.

Higgins said airmen face hardships they sometimes don’t have the time to address.

He teaches them how to overcome barriers.

In the last month, two Tyndall Air Force Base personnel committed suicide.

Higgins said if you have a service member in your life the best way to support them is to show that you care.

“By getting into our hearts and connecting with those around us. Whether it’s our neighbors, our family, our coworkers, or our friends connecting with them is how we overcome those risk factors, those darkest moments in our lives, relying on others. We can never go alone,” Higgins said.

Higgins said his mission is to help airmen prioritize taking care of themselves.

Statistics show suicide rates among U.S. Military active-duty personnel are about double the civilian suicide rate.