Help Prevent Soldier Suicides
August 29, 2008
<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- Soldiers considering suicide will usually exhibit several warning signs that will let friends, Family members and battle buddies know when it's time to intervene, according to Maj. Christopher Warner, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield's Chief of the Department of Behavioral Medicine.
As part of Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 7-13, the installation is running a huge publicity campaign to make Soldiers, Family members and battle buddies aware of the warning signs and resources available to get help.
Some of these warning signs include a change in that Soldier's behavior and work habits.
Warner said to be attentive if you know a person is going through a personal loss such as a divorce or death of a loved one, or if he or she is pending some type of disciplinary action. Warnered advised to be concerned if he or she starts giving things away or is simply not looking forward to the future.
That is where the acronym A.C.E. is put into play:
Aca,!Ac Ask questions about the behavior changes you notice, even to the point of asking if that Soldier is considering suicide.
Aca,!Ac Care enough to listen. He or she is not likely to come right out and admit to such feelings right away.
Aca,!Ac Escort them to get help - the emergency room, the chaplain or medical provider.
During the coming weeks, Warner said posters and education booths will be set up at post exchanges, and information fliers will be distributed at the commissaries.
But when Suicide Prevention Week is over, the Army and the installation's commitment to reduce suicide rates will continue, Warner said.