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.


 
 

 

VA implements new online tool for military members, Families, transitioning out

In conjunction with the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, the new Veterans Employment Center, or VEC, is the federal government’s single authoritative online resource for connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their Families to meaningful career opportunities. The VEC is the first government-wide product that brings together a reputable cadre of public and...
 
 

ACAP has new name, now Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program

As part of the Soldier for Life Program that was introduced last year, the Army Career and Alumni Program, or ACAP, has changed names to the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, effective immediately. In an effort to better reflect the new direction of Army transition with the Soldier for Life Program, Army Chief...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Army has ally in Natick lab

Courtesy Photo Secretary of the Army John McHugh, left, learns about the hypobaric chamber at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine during a March 15, 2012, visit to Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massach...
 

 

Monsoon start means break from hot weather — keep safety in mind this summer

In Arizona, as in other regions of the world including India and Thailand, we experience a monsoon, a season of high temperatures, high winds, and high moisture, resulting in potentially deadly weather. The term “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim,” meaning “season” or “wind shift.” Even though rain doesn’t typically begin in the southern Arizona...
 
 

Melanoma – silent but deadly

Do you love having fun in the sun? If you do, it is essential you protect your skin from exposure to harmful sun rays known to cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, more...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Rick Davis Agency: Engineer & Instrumentation Branch within Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate, U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground Position and duties: Electronic technician; provides technical support for testing new Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Systems. AISRS does all operational testing here for the military intelligence systems by conducting a test and r...
 




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