Health & Safety

October 4, 2012

Suicide prevention is key in Army

Tags:
Natalie Lakosil
Staff writer

More then 6,000 Soldiers and Fort Huachuca personnel attended presentations on Sept. 27 to learn about suicide and prevention as part of the Army’s Suicide Stand-Down Day. On Fort Huachuca, three presentations took place simultaneously at three locations three times that day.

As part of the Army’s September’s National Suicide Prevention month, Fort Huachuca’s Army Substance Abuse Program held a installation wide event, Stand Down Day for Suicide Prevention on Sept. 27.

The discussions were mandatory and were held at three different locations and times throughout the day, giving the more than 6,000 attendees a chance to participate. The lectures were held at Cochise Theater, Murr Community Center and Eifler Fitness Center.

The discussion was held to ensure Soldiers and leaders are equipped with the skills necessary to recognize when an individual shows warning signs of suicide and high-risk behavior, and the actions to take when they identify that those stressors have become overwhelming, according to the mission statement.

The theme for the 2012 Stand Down was “Shoulder to Shoulder, We Stand Up for Life.” The event was for all Soldiers and Army civilians, with Family members encouraged to attend and participate on a voluntary basis.

“We have been at war for 11 years now, and there are a lot of people carrying around a lot of baggage. War is not a fun endeavor. Being away from your family is not a fun endeavor, so that creates stress and folks look at other options because they can’t seem to find a way out or they don’t want to get help,” said Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca “I am here to tell you, you are not weak if you go out and seek help.

You’re strong. Those of you who heard the sergeant major of the Army talk — he is not bashful about talking about going to get counseling for his issues. When somebody is acting differently you need to get in there, you need to talk to them, get them to talk and find out what’s going on and get them the help that they need,” Potter said.

“Sometimes that means directing them, leaders directing to get the help that they need. We have great, great facilities on this post. We are very fortunate that we are a small post and our facilities are not overloaded like some of the other larger posts so there is no reason why you can’t get whatever help you need right here on Fort Huachuca or if we don’t have it, you can certainly get it down town or in other places,” he added.

“I need you all to pay attention to this, I need you all to take this seriously, I need you all to do everything you possibly can to reduce this in the Army, now do I think that we are going to eliminate this in the Army? No unfortunately not, I wish there was a magic wand I could wave and say ok, no more suicide, that’s not going to happen, but if we can save one person, one person as a result of what we are telling you today, then to me the time spent is worth more than all the money in the world,” Potter said to the crowded room.

During the presentation, a movie “Shoulder to Shoulder, Finding Strength and Hope Together,” was shown. “These situations that you are going to see here, you are going to recognize them, it’s life and it doesn’t get any easier. And you are going to see what people did in order to get through,” said Suicide Prevention Program Manager Leta Myers, Army Substance Abuse Program.

Myers touched on some of the risk factors involved when it comes to suicide, “over 50 percent of those who attempt suicide, attempt it again within five years. High risk folks, the two things you hear most often from people is, “I’m not afraid anymore and I will do it right next time,” the failures are gone for them so we need to be extra cautious and more aware. Seventy-three percent of all suicides have alcohol, cocaine, marijuana or heroin involved. You can not process information, you can not use your cognitive ability when you are under the influence of substances, and we lose a lot of people to that,” she added.

The top causal factors for suicide behaviors are relationship issues, finances and losses such as divorce or separations. Warning signs for suicide are mood changes, anger, giving away possessions and making final arrangement statements.

There is absolutely no shame, none whatsoever, in saying ‘I’m empty, I can’t do this, I don’t know what to do.’ That is when you know exactly what to do, you call others and you gather as many as you can in order to help this person. We are not asking you to have all the answers, we’re asking you to take steps to help,” Myers said.

“Suicide is so prevalent in our communities We have the highest rising group right now, our baby boomers, and we have a high rise in children 8 to 13 years old, wow! We all have to be involved in that. So the focus at least the spotlight needs to be placed as often as we can and this is the Army’s way of spotlighting what’s a problem for us,” she said.

For anyone seeking help call the national suicide hotline, it is confidential and always available, 1.800.273.TALK (8255).




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


 
 

 
Cyber-Security-Scout-Article-06OCT2014

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

U.S. Army graphic by Lawrence Boyd “You Are the First Line of Defense.” That is the message those who are responsible for the defense of the Army’s networks wants to get out to the rest of the Army during National Cyber S...
 
 

Depression awareness showcased during month of October

Stand To! In observance of October as National Depression Awareness Month, the U.S. Army will join several organizations across America to inform the public about the signs and symptoms of depression. The public will learn the importance of seeking treatment and will be provided information about the availability of free online anonymous behavioral health screenings....
 
 

Robin Williams — could someone have helped?

I haven’t been able to talk about it until now, but I was really angry that Robin Williams committed suicide. I have been a fan of Williams since the Mork and Mindy days and always admired how much he had going for him. I knew he had problems, but somehow never considered that suicide could...
 

 
DoD

DOD recognizes commitment to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department Wednesday honored exceptional groups and individuals from each military component who contributed an innovative idea or approach to positively impact sexual assault prevention and response programs. The Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award recognizes Service members and DOD Civilians whose work in support of service members has been particularly notew...
 
 

Trick-or-treat hours set for Fort Huachuca Oct. 31

Fort Huachuca Halloween trick-or-treating will take place Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m. for children under 14. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Standard access requirements for the installation remain in effect. This includes the requirement that everyone 16 and over entering the installation provide a valid picture identification and...
 
 

VA processes more than 1.3 million veterans’ claims in FY14

WASHINGTON — More than 1.3 million veterans received decisions on their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and pension claims in fiscal year 2014 — the highest number in VA’s history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking production by more than 150,000 claims. This second year of record-breaking production comes as VA continues to transform the...
 




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