SCHWEINFURT, Germany -- Over the years, the Army has emphasized that no Soldier stands alone; however, with recent increases in suicides and the numbers continuing to rise, the concept has become ever so significant.

"There are 21 more suicides this year compared to the numbers from this time last year. It's continuing to rise and becoming more and more apparent that the whole Army needs to get involved," said Dr. Catherine Manos, U.S. Army Garrison Army substance abuse program prevention coordinator.

Army involvement includes participation in the nationwide suicide prevention week, which takes place through Sept. 12. Garrisons Armywide are encouraged to reach out to the community and highlight the importance of suicide prevention, stress the resources available, increase training and intervention, and educate how to help someone in need.

"The Army has become much more proactive than they have ever been before. They're seeing it as the issue that it is. We, as a garrison, will have an information booth at the PX to give information on suicide prevention and alternatives. It's true, no Soldier stands alone, so they need to know that we're here," Manos said.

Further resources available within the Schweinfurt community include the behavioral health clinic, military family life consultants, social work services, and the military police.

"All of our programs contribute to the resiliency and well-being of our Soldiers and families. Our contribution in terms of suicide prevention is giving community members alternatives to their temporary problem that isn't a drastic permanent solution," said Hal Snyder, director of ACS.

Those in need are encouraged to utilize these agencies and seek the help they need. It is further the responsibility of the community to reach out, listen, ask questions, and not be deluded into thinking everything is alright, Manos said.

"Suicide is not the answer. No matter what anyone says, medication and talking really work. Courage is what it takes to get here," said Dr. Marsha Ashurst, psychiatric nurse practitioner with Schweinfurt behavioral health.

"For every one incident, hundreds are affected," Manos said.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp.

Page last updated Wed September 9th, 2009 at 09:10