By Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsOctober 25, 2013
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Oct. 25, 2013) -- The "Ask, Care, Escort" method of suicide-intervention was taught to attendees at a training course held Oct. 23 and 24 at the Community Activity Center here.
About 30 service members and Department of Army civilians participated in the "train-the-trainer" course, which was coordinated through the installation's Army Substance Abuse Program.
"We are being equipped to train others in our unit or battalion [on] how to intervene in a suicidal situation and how to provide an intervention," said Chaplain (Capt.) James Souza, assigned to the 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, who attended the training.
After completing the six-hour course, the participants are certified to teach others how to identify suicide risk factors so that junior military leaders at the company level, commissioned and noncommissioned officers and their civilian counterparts can take appropriate preventive, said Ben Bauman, the course instructor.
"We conduct all the training that we are required to conduct, but really it will be just making sure that our friends are healthy, that no one is going to be a potential [suicide] victim, and to make sure that anything we see as a warning sign, we act immediately upon," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Peter Klein, a unit victim advocate assigned to U.S. Army aviation Battalion Japan.
"Suicide is a problem in the Army and it is something that could happen anywhere," said Souza. "I think that the Army wants as many people ready as possible to act if they were ever in the situation where there was a person close to them who is thinking about suicide. So [the training] is about readiness."