ACC to host stand down as part of Army's initiative to stem suicide trend
October 4, 2012
ACC CG's Suicide Awareness Video Message
Suicide Awareness message from Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, U.S. Army Contracting Command's commanding general.
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno opened the service-wide suicide prevention stand down with senior leaders in the Pentagon, Sept. 27, by announcing that 237 Soldiers have potentially taken their lives so far this year and that the Army will step up its resilience training to combat the problem.
"I think one of the most important things we want to do is to start thinking about how we build Soldier and family resilience, so we're going to establish a Ready and Resilient Campaign plan to build the capabilities within our Soldiers to solve problems on their own and to help families deal with numerous stresses that are put upon them," Odierno said.
The chief added that the current suicide rate is trending to top last year's loss of 283 Soldiers for the same period last year.
"These are 283 Soldiers who raised their hands, who wanted to join an institution that is greater than themselves," he said. "They probably joined to prove themselves, maybe to move forward with their lives or maybe they just wanted to fight for their country; 283 are too many and the loss of one Soldier is one too many, no matter what the cause may be."
Odierno said he's confident leaders at all levels understand the stigma associated with seeking professional help and are seeking to create a command climate where individuals can come forward, admit they have problems and seek help.
Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, commanding general, Army Contracting Command, echoed the chief 's remarks and voiced her concerns regarding suicide and its impact on the Army family.
"Suicide continues to be a challenge for our Army family," she said. "It's a devastating and senseless loss when one of our own, whether a Soldier, a family member, civilian or contractor dies by suicide."
Nichols added that headquarters ACC along with the Expeditionary Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., will host its suicide stand down Oct. 10 as part of the Armywide mandate to educate individuals on how to recognize signs and to inform them of those programs available to help.
"I am asking each one of you to make a difference in someone's life," she said. "I encourage you to take the time to get to know your friends, co-workers and buddies a little better. Recognize the signs of someone that may need your help. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact a chaplain, call the National Suicide Prevention helpline at 1.800.273. TALK (8255) or visit the website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
"Remember, no one is alone," Nichols said. "Shoulder-to-shoulder, we can all remain Army strong."