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.


 
 

 
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