The week of Sept. 5 is National Suicide Prevention Week, a time when organizations including the Rock Island Arsenal work to increase awareness about suicide and reduce the stigma surrounding suicide. The Army is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of its Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and their Family members. To emphasize this commitment, the Army is joining the nation in observing September as National Suicide Prevention Month.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average every 15.2 minutes. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15-to 24-year-olds. The elderly make up 12.6 percent of the population, but comprise 15.7 percent of all suicides. Approximately 864,950 Americans attempt suicide each year and it is estimated that five million living Americans have attempted to kill themselves. An estimated 4.6 million Americans are survivors of the suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one.

Please join the Rock Island Arsenal Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in supporting suicide prevention. Information tables will be available on Sept. 7-9 at cafeterias in buildings 210, 60, and 350, respectively, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Information and resources will be provided by community mental health practitioners and EAP counselors. Free, confidential and anonymous mental health screenings are available at <a href="http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening" target="_blank">mentalhealthscreening.org/screening</a>. Enter keyword ASAP to complete a simple online questionnaire.

Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing. Experts also know that suicidal crises tend to be brief. When suicidal behaviors are detected early, lives can be saved. If you or someone you know is in need of immediate assistance, please call 911, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647, or the Rock Island Arsenal Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 782-HELP (4357). Together we can reduce the number of lives shaken by a needless and tragic death.

Page last updated Tue August 31st, 2010 at 09:53