Health & Safety

April 12, 2012

Suicide intervention training comes to Fort Irwin

By Caroline Keyser
Warrior editor
Photo by Caroline Keyser
Participants in the ACE-SI suicide intervention training listen as James Cartwright, one of the designers of the Army’s ACE suicide prevention program, speaks during a workshop April 5 at Fort Irwin’s Education Center annex.

Leaders at Fort Irwin got a chance to learn how to better serve those they lead last week.

On April 2, 3, and 5, Walter Morales, chief of the Army’s suicide prevention program, and James Cartwright, designer of the Army’s ACE program, visited Fort Irwin to conduct ACE-SI training workshops.  ACE, which stands for Ask, Care, Escort, has been one of the Army’s premier suicide prevention programs since it launched in 2008.  ACE-SI, which stands for Ask, Care, Escort-Suicide Intervention, is a suicide intervention program for junior leaders and first-line supervisors that builds on the skills promoted in ACE by going into more detail and by aiming to raise leaders’ comfort levels with intervening with a suicidal person.  It was the first time Fort Irwin has hosted the ACE-SI training.

“(Suicide) is an issue that cuts across all segments of the population,” Morales said.  “We’re trying to reach those folks with the most impact on Soldiers and civilians — our sergeants, team leaders, and supervisors.  Our intent is for people to take this training back to their office.”

More than 170 people attended the four-hour workshop, which teaches participants about the steps to take when intervening with a person contemplating suicide and the resources available to help.  Participants also take part in role-playing and discussing their personal experiences with suicide.

“There is a taboo to suicide,” Morales said.  “When a person commits suicide, their friends or family members don’t necessarily want to tell others what happened.  This workshop gets people to talk about it freely and openly.”

While ACE-SI doesn’t train participants to counsel those considering suicide, it does train them to act as a first line of defense and to effectively lead the person in need to appropriate resources.

Michael Duncan, Fort Irwin’s suicide prevention program manager, said that having the ACE-SI training at Fort Irwin will benefit the community.  He added that family members of Soldiers are also welcome to attend suicide prevention training.  According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is currently the third-leading cause of death among children ages 10-24.

“We’re absolutely glad to have this here at Fort Irwin,” he said.  “Just having that community approach to training programs is going to help.”

 

Suicide prevention resources

 

U.S. Army suicide prevention website: www.preventsuicide.army.mil

 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline/Military Crisis Line/Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

 

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline: 1-800-984-8523

 

Military OneSource: 1-800-342-9647

 

Emergency Service:  911

 

Weed Army Community Hospital Emergency Room:  380-3114

 

Fort Irwin Military Police: 380-3405

 

Fort Irwin On-Call Chaplain: 760-646-4212

 

Non-emergency resources:

 

Center Chapel:  380-3562

 

Family Life Chaplain:  380-4664/3421

 

Military & Family Life Consultants:  760-550-4451

 

Behavioral Health:  380-3631

 

Employee Assistance Program:  380-9092

 

Suicide Prevention Program:  380-9446

 

Risk Reduction Program:  380-4983 

 

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): 1-800-959-8277

 

Vet-to-Vet Peer Counselors:  1-877-838-2838

 

“Coaching Into Care”: 1-888-823-7458  

 

(a Department of Veterans Affairs national clinical service providing information and help to Veterans and the loved ones who are concerned about them)

 




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