DoD

September 6, 2013

Official notes progress in suicide prevention effort

WASHINGTON — Making sure people know where to turn for help during a time of crisis is the continuing goal of the Department of Defense’s suicide prevention program, the Pentagon official in charge of the effort said here Aug. 30.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Jacqueline Garrick said DoD has a “plethora” of resources that are specific to service members and their Families who have thoughts of suicide.

And while numbers are pending, Garrick said, DoD is “seeing a decrease in the number of suicides in the department overall.”

Senior Pentagon leaders have worked diligently for several years to erase the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues, and it appears to be paying off, she added.

“We’re seeing more people access help through the Military Crisis Line, and an increase in users for mental health [help] across the department,” she said. Those are good signs that DoD’s messages are reaching the people who need help, she added, and that they’re taking advantage of the resources the department offers.

The message that seeking help is a sign of strength has resonated from the top down throughout the Defense Department, Garrick said, noting that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have sent that message repeatedly. President Barack Obama also made that point at Fort Hood, Texas, last year when he announced an executive order to improve access to mental health care for service members, veterans and military Families, Garrick said. “So that message is resonating throughout the services, in our civilian and military forces,” she added.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, Garrick said. In keeping with the theme, “It’s Your Call,” Garrick emphasized that all service members, their Families and friends should be aware of the Military Crisis Line, an immediate source of help that’s confidential and anonymous. Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1.800.273.8255.

In addition to the crisis phone line, she said, help also is available through the Military Crisis Line’s website at http://www.militarycrisisline.net, with access to counselors in person and through online chats and text messaging, she said.

In addition, DoD’s suicide outreach website at http://www.suicideoutreach.org/ has a Family guide that offers steps to take when someone is in crisis. It also lists at-risk behaviors and other symptoms of a person who is potentially suicidal, Garrick said.

Family members also can use these resources to find help for themselves if they feel they’re feeling suicidal, Garrick said.

“Family members often don’t think those resources are there for their needs, so we want to encourage them [to use the resources that are available],” Garrick said. “If Family members are depressed, stressed or feeling suicidal, we want them to get help for themselves, as well as for their loved ones.”

Research shows that treatment is successful when it’s given a chance, Garrick said.

“It does make a difference, and the resources are designed specifically to support service members who are deployed, those who have not deployed, those with [post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury], depression, substance abuse, financial problems and relationship problems,” she said.

“If you don’t get help, problems get worse, which can impact your career and your life overall,” she said. “It’s better to get help early and identify problems that are small, rather than wait until they get bigger, and then have things blow up and become more unmanageable.”

People with suicidal tendencies might need a break to “recap and recoup” their personal resilience and return to their regular schedules when they are more mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually fit to be more successful, Garrick said. And fostering service members’ sense of personal resilience is paramount to DoD senior leaders and to those throughout the chain of command, she added.

Resources for help don’t end with DoD and the services, Garrick said, noting that the Veterans Affairs Department, or VA, also offers help.

“Our service members don’t stay with us forever,” she noted, adding that Pentagon officials want them to have a successful transfer to VA as they leave the military and become veterans. “We want them to embrace their veteran status and get the help they need,” she said.

 




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


 
 

 
Interrogation-Station

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

U.S. Army Intelligence School opened in Langres, France July 25, 1918 Troops sift through the effects of captured Germans for items of intelligence value. “Late in July, 1918, about fifty officers gathered at the high-walled ...
 
 
AAFES-Dog-Contest-7_2014.7

Main Gate Express hosts dog dress up contest

Monica Card, Fort Huachuca Main Gate Express store manager, awards Gunner, first place in the Main Gate Express’ “Most Patriotic Dog” contest. The event took place outside the store Saturday.   Pet owners and their f...
 
 
Photos by Maranda Flynn

Back to school at Fort Huachuca

Carissa Incorvaia receives information from Dennis Houston about Club Beyond, a youth ministry geared towards military teens. Club Beyond, which is located at the Main Chapel on Fort Huachuca, was one of the organizations prese...
 

 
Filing

Recent Fort Huachuca Soldier finds immediate employment through ACAP, now known as SFLTAP

Arvie Ramos files paperwork July 23 at his new job with the Bureau of Land Management in Sacramento, California. With assistance from the Fort Huachuca Army Career and Alumni Program, Ramos was hired as a human resource special...
 
 
Principals-3_2014.7

Fort Huachuca School District welcomes two new principals

Pictured in the foreground, from left, Keeley Huffman, 11, meets Valerie Quarto, her new school principal of General Myer Elementary at the Back to School Fair held in the school’s gym July 17. Also pictured in the background...
 
 

News Briefs July 24, 2014

Range closures announced Today: A, B, C, D, E, F, P, P1, U, U1, W, W1, X, Y, V, Z, T1, T2, T3 Saturday: P1, U, U1, X, Y, V, Z, T1, T2, T3 Sunday: P1, U, U1, X, Y, V, Z, T1, T2, T3 Monday: A, B, C, D, E, F, P1, U, U1,...
 




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