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 Armyâ€™s suicide prevention program, and James Cartwright, designer of the Armyâ€™s ACE program, visited Fort Irwin to conduct ACE-SI training workshops.Â ACE, which stands for Ask, Care, Escort, has been one of the Armyâ€™s premier suicide prevention programs since it launched in 2008.Â 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 leadersâ€™ comfort levels with intervening with a suicidal person.Â It was the first time Fort Irwin has hosted the ACE-SI training.
â€œ(Suicide) is an issue that cuts across all segments of the population,â€ Morales said.Â â€œWeâ€™re trying to reach those folks with the most impact on Soldiers and civilians â€” our sergeants, team leaders, and supervisors.Â Our intent is for people to take this training back to their office.â€
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.Â Participants also take part in role-playing and discussing their personal experiences with suicide.
â€œThere is a taboo to suicide,â€ Morales said.Â â€œWhen a person commits suicide, their friends or family members donâ€™t necessarily want to tell others what happened.Â This workshop gets people to talk about it freely and openly.â€
While ACE-SI doesnâ€™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 Irwinâ€™s suicide prevention program manager, said that having the ACE-SI training at Fort Irwin will benefit the community.Â He added that family members of Soldiers are also welcome to attend suicide prevention training.Â According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is currently the third-leading cause of death among children ages 10-24.
â€œWeâ€™re absolutely glad to have this here at Fort Irwin,â€ he said.Â â€œJust having that community approach to training programs is going to help.â€
Suicide prevention resources
U.S. Army suicide prevention website:Â www.preventsuicide.army.mil
Suicide Prevention Lifeline/Military Crisis Line/Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline:Â 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline:Â 1-800-984-8523
Military OneSource:Â 1-800-342-9647
Emergency Service:Â 911
Weed Army Community Hospital Emergency Room:Â 380-3114
Fort Irwin Military Police:Â 380-3405
Fort Irwin On-Call Chaplain:Â 760-646-4212
Center Chapel:Â 380-3562
Family Life Chaplain:Â 380-4664/3421
Military & Family Life Consultants:Â Â 760-550-4451
Behavioral Health:Â 380-3631
Employee Assistance Program:Â 380-9092
Suicide Prevention Program:Â 380-9446
Risk Reduction Program:Â 380-4983Â
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): 1-800-959-8277
Vet-to-Vet Peer Counselors: Â 1-877-838-2838
â€œCoaching Into Careâ€: 1-888-823-7458 Â
(a Department of Veterans AffairsÂ national clinical service providing information and help to Veterans and theÂ loved ones who are concerned about them)