Each September, the Armed Forces recognize National Suicide Prevention Month. In support of this National observance, various activities are scheduled throughout the month to focus on the wellness of the community.
The Army’s Ready and Resilient efforts will leverage the month of September as a communication opportunity to amplify its Ready and Resilient (R2) messaging and call members of the Force (Soldiers, Army Civilians, and Family members) to take action by treating one another with dignity and respect, becoming interveners instead of bystanders, and living the Army Values daily.
Although suicide prevention is a 365 days-a-year effort, the awareness campaign is a national commitment and action to prevent suicides. It reminds all members of the Army team that Soldiers and units must be capable of building and sustaining their personal readiness, which is critical to mission readiness. High-risk behavior is preventable.
Although tragic events, like suicide, are complex, members of the Army team have a duty and obligation to engage to strengthen themselves and others and #Be There to connect fellow Soldiers in crisis with support.
The Army’s theme for Suicide Prevention Month this year is “#Be There.” This campaign encourages us to view our interactions as meaningful regardless of how brief or intimate, when helping others who may be struggling.
The emphasis is the interactions we have with others on a daily basis that have a significant impact on the well-being of ourselves and others. We can all do our part. The task of caring should not be left only to counselors, chaplains and supportive agencies, the small act of being there, express the importance of community members knowing how everyone around them is doing, if they are coping with stress, and most importantly, when help is needed.
It is a simple phrase, but it is the lead thought behind the Department of Defense, encouraging people to make everyday connections and build relationships.
In the Army, every Soldier counts, which is why messaging about suicide prevention continues and remains embedded in Army culture.
The Army will continue to emphasize that it is the responsibility of individual Soldiers to have visibility and take responsibility to sustain their own personal readiness and the personal readiness of their buddy.
So the involvement of families, service members and civilians are encouraged by stepping outside of yourselves and your everyday focus to make an impact and share an emotional connection, you’re not only investing time in others, but also in yourself.