Health & Safety

September 20, 2012

Suicide prevention stand down set for Sept. 27

Tags:
J.D. Leipold
U.S. Army
The Army will conduct an Army-wide Suicide Prevention Stand Down, Sept. 27, to focus on promoting good health, teammate involvement, risk reduction and resilience training.

WASHINGTON — In one week the Army will conduct a suicide prevention stand down worldwide to focus on promoting good health, teammate involvement, risk reduction and resilience training.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd Austin III ordered the Sept. 27 stand down following the release of July suicide figures, which confirmed two suicides and another 36 potential suicides presently under investigation. To date, 120 active-duty Soldiers are confirmed to have taken their lives while another 67 deaths are under investigation.

On Fort Huachuca, Suicide Stand-Down Day events will take place simultaneously, three times at three locations. They take place at 8 and 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in Cochise Theater, at Murr Community Center and at Eifler Fitness Center. The entire Fort Huachuca community is encouraged to attend.

“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” Austin said, adding that he believes it preventable through solutions aimed at helping individuals build resiliency to help strengthen their life-coping skills. Austin said the Army must continue to address the stigma associated with asking for help.

“Ultimately, we want the mindset across our force and society at large to be that behavioral health is a routine part of what we do and who we are as we strive to maintain our own physical and mental wellness,” Austin said.

The last suicide prevention stand down the Army had was in 2009 and followed the train-the-trainer concept and how to recognize potential suicides, but this year’s program brings a more holistic approach to beating the epidemic, said Walter Morales, chief of the Army Suicide Prevention Program. Morales said Army suicides have more than doubled since 2004.

“I think the big difference between 2009 and now is this time we’ve focused all across the Army, even here at the Pentagon we’re going to stand down with the Army chief of staff leading a personal session by talking with the general officers and senior executives,” said Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Army G-1.

“This is absolutely a battle that we have to engage in every single day,” Bromberg added. “I’m asking all Soldiers this entire month and moving forward to just to think about that as military members, family members, teammates, civilians, neighbors and friends to look out for each other in our community.”

“We’re looking at health promotion — establishment of good eating and sleeping habits, different ways of exercising and that leadership must be involved and accountable, so we’ll be looking at many resources and not just those resources specifically for suicide prevention,” said Morales. “Our goal is to let Soldiers, leaders, family members and Army civilians know we have resources to help them remain risk-free.”

Several of those resources include Army Strong Bonds, a program led by the Chaplain Corps which seeks to build resiliency by offering individual Soldiers and families relationship education and skills training, explained Col. George Glaze, chief of the Health Promotion Risk Reduction Division of G-1.

“We have Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness which is about building resiliency and learning coping life skills that you need to handle with some of the challenges we have,” Glaze added. “We have the Army substance abuse program that gets after the dependencies on alcohol and drug abuse and we have for those Soldiers who are geographically dispersed the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1.800.273.TALK.”

Morales said programs like ACE — Ask, Care, Escort — teaches skills on how to intervene, and what questions to ask to get Soldiers the help they need. Key he says is to have the courage to intervene by stepping in with alternative solutions.

“There can be no bystanders in this battlefront,” Glaze said. “The stand down is an opportunity to heighten awareness by offering a menu to commanders, those leaders down to the unit to figure out what is specific to their communities and populations — relationship challenges or financial challenges — then making sure the assets are available to them.”

In the end, he said, the solution to Army suicides rests with Soldiers asking for help and recognizing that it’s okay to come forward and ask for help without repercussion.

“Seeking help when needed is a sign of strength, help is out there, it’s available and it works,” Glaze said. “The quicker you get help, the quicker you get back into the fight.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense

Army researchers develop pocket-sized aerial surveillance device

Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense A British Soldier holds a Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Resear...
 
 

Active duty Service members must change Roth TSP contributions

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Active duty members of the Army, Air Force or Navy making dollar-amount Roth contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan account should know that these deductions will stop on Jan. 31, unless action is taken. “The Roth [Thrift Savings Plan] contributions are going from a dollar figure to a percentage of pay,” said...
 
 

THANKSGIVING DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Thanksgiving is a day set aside to pause, reflect and give thanks for the gifts of peace, freedom and opportunity we share as Americans. Holiday weekends provide a well-earned respite from work and an opportunity for travel to visit Family and friends. However, increased travel means increased exposure to the hazards associated with heavy holiday...
 

 
Defense Commissary Agency

Commissary Value Brand returns for more savings

Defense Commissary Agency Starting in December, the Fort Huachuca Commissary will add Commissary Value Brands to its shelves. FORT LEE, Va. – In response to growing patron demand for products comparable to the low-cost privat...
 
 

FH visitors, Civilian workers can dine at Exchange facilities

At military installations across the globe, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provides a taste of home to Soldiers, Airmen and their Families. While rules governing who can buy merchandise at exchanges often apply to a select few, anyone can dine in exchange restaurants or pick up grab-and-go fare from Express locations. The Fort...
 
 

Chapel serves up community generosity

From left, Staff Sgt. Daniel Carnaghi, 62nd Army Band; Chaplain (Lt. Col.-P) Kim Norwood, senior Garrison chaplain; his wife, Cindy Norwood; Jo Moore, Outreach Ministries coordinator; and Spc. Benjamin Sepulveda, Main Post Chapel chaplain’s assistant, prepare to distribute turkeys to Fort Huachuca Families in need Thursday at the Main Post Chapel. Thanks to generous donations...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin