Risks, recognition, prevention are stand down issues
September 21, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Sept. 21, 2012) -- Using the theme "A Healthy Force is a Ready Force," the Army is emphasizing Suicide Prevention Awareness this month, with a Suicide Prevention Stand Down ordered for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Sept. 27.
"We believe that suicide can be prevented," said Pamela Jinnohara, director, Army Substance Abuse Program.
Suicide prevention efforts focus on total Army family well-being, resilience, stigma reduction and positive results achieved by getting involved and reaching out for help.
"My intent (for the Sept. 27 stand down) is for all USAG-HI Soldiers, families and civilians to be aware of the resources available to them to preserve life, increase resilience and improve the health and strength of the garrison community," said Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, USAG-HI.
Risk factors include any person who is in a stressful situation. Perhaps someone has a strained relationship with a loved one or has recently faced the loss of a loved one.
Maybe someone is having financial or legal difficulties.
Another concern may be moving, changing jobs or transitioning in or out of the military. All of these situations put a person at higher risk for strained coping.
"We want our community to become more resilient and aware of the warning signs," Whitney said, adding, "and (to) become familiar with the tools and services available at their respective location to increase resilience and reduce suicides throughout the force."
Potential suicide warning signs are frequently tied to observable behaviors that may vary from person to person. They include the following:
--Someone who is giving away prized possessions;
--Someone starting to drink alcohol or use prescriptions or illegal drugs in a way that is harmful; and
--Someone who becomes angry or depressed and demonstrates behavior changes.
If you are tuned into risk factors and warning signs, you may be able to help someone find the resources they need to get help.
Local efforts to recognize suicidal tendencies include training in an "Ask, Care, Escort -- Suicide Intervention" class at 9 a.m., Sept. 27, at the Schofield Barracks Installation Training Center. To sign up, call 655-9105.
Feedback from people who have attended this course has been positive.
Suicide Prevention Stand Down
The Army is holding a mandatory Suicide Prevention Stand Down, also, on Sept. 27.
On this day, ASAP Suicide Prevention team members will present four sessions of "Shoulder to Shoulder: Finding Strength and Hope Together" and ACE training throughout the day at the Sgt. Smith Theater, here, at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Each session is 90 minutes long.
Active duty Army and civilians are required to attend a session; retirees and adult family members are welcome to attend, too.
(Editor's note: Mylinda Morris works with the Army Substance Abuse Program at USAG-Hawaii.)