By Mrs. Bana Miller (Grafenwoehr)September 5, 2013
BAMBERG, Germany (Sept. 5, 2013) -- Although awareness efforts are year-round, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, has named September National Suicide Prevention Month. Making sure people know where to turn for help during a time of crisis is the continuing goal of the Defense Department's suicide prevention program.
In support of the program, USAG Bamberg's Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, will host weekly Prevention Booths throughout the month of September at lunchtime in various locations, including the food court, the dining facility and Shoppette. ASAP will highlight suicide prevention skills and give away corresponding freebies.
In addition, ASAP will host Suicide Prevention Briefings to all units on post, and will be available to attend unit and community functions to act as subject matter experts, hand out information and give away prizes.
The garrison will also host two Suicide Prevention Stand Down Day events Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. Family members, friends, and surrounding community members are encouraged to get involved, learn more, and help spread the word to promote mental health and prevent suicide. In keeping with this year's theme, "It's Your Call," all service members, their Families and friends should be aware of the Military Crisis Line, an immediate source of help that's confidential and anonymous. Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255.
In addition to the crisis phone line, help also is available through the Military Crisis Line's website at www.militarycrisisline.net, with access to counselors in person and through online chats and text messaging.
In addition, Department of Defense's suicide outreach website at www.suicideoutreach.org has a family guide that offers steps to take when someone is in crisis. It also lists at-risk behaviors and other symptoms of a person who is potentially suicidal. Family members also can use these resources to find help for themselves if they're feeling suicidal.
Research shows that treatment is successful when given a chance. Consider the following organizations, and keep this list handy.
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.afsp.org
• Chaplains: www.army.mil/info/organization/chaplaincy
• Family Readiness Groups: www.armyfrg.org
• Military Crisis Line: 001-800-273-8255, Press 1
• Military Family Life Consultants
• Military OneSource: 001-800-342-9647 or www.militaryonesource.com
• Military Pathways: www.militarymentalhealth.org
• National Guard's Director of Psychological Health Program: www.realwarriors.net/guardreserve/treatment/NGPHP.php
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 001-800-273-TALK (8255) or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
• Office of the Chief of Public Affairs: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/216363
• Real Warriors Campaign: 001-866-966-1020 or www.realwarriors.net
• Signs of Suicide (SOS) Military Program: www.mentalhealthscreening.org/military/index.aspx
• Suicide Prevention Resource Counsel: www.sprc.org
• TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors): 001-800-959-TAPS (8277) or www.taps.org
• TRICARE (now offering remote and web-based counseling in CONUS): 001-800-600-9332 or www.tricareonline.com
• Warrior and Family Assistance Center (WFAC): 001-800-436-6290 or www.arfp.org/WFAC
• Wellness Resources for the Military Community or www.afterdeployment.org
For further assistance, contact your local Army Substance Abuse Program office. In Ansbach, call 09802-83-1710 or DSN 467-1710 or visit the ASAP office at Katterbach Kaserne in Bldg. 5817, Wing B.
In Bamberg, call 0951-300-7588 or DSN 469-7588, "like" USAG Bamberg ASAP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UsagBambergASAP or visit the ASAP office at the garrison building on Warner Barracks.
In Schweinfurt, call 09721-96-1710 or visit the ASAP office on Conn Barracks in Bldg. 54 on the second floor. Schweinfurt also has a Web page dedicated to suicide prevention, which can be found at www.schweinfurt.army.mil/news/archives/newspage_2073.htm.