By Patricia RolleriSeptember 10, 2008
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - In support of National Suicide Prevention Week and in concert with the Army's commitment to the safety and well-being of its Soldiers, civilians and families, a team of representatives from key installation organizations recently formed a suicide prevention task force to assist in promoting the prevention of suicide. With the Human Resources Directorate in the lead, the task force consists of representatives from the Army Substance Abuse Program, XVIII Airborne Corps Chaplains Office, Family Advocacy Program and Behavioral Health. The mission of the task force is to increase awareness in programs, training and resources available to assist in suicide prevention.
The Army's Suicide Prevention Week theme for 2008 is "Shoulder-to-Shoulder: No Soldier Stands Alone." This theme conveys the idea that Soldiers are stronger together, especially when times are tough. The theme reminds Soldiers to do the right thing for their fellow Soldiers (their battle buddies). The task force is committed to getting this message to the lowest level and is informing leaders about the importance of Soldiers taking care of Soldiers on and off the battlefield.
The Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine has developed a suicide intervention card call ACE (ask, care, escort) which is designed to help Soldiers become aware that they can take necessary steps to prevent suicides. It is aimed at Soldiers and leaders with a goal to make it easier for Soldiers to help fellow Soldiers who have thoughts of suicide. ACE encourages Soldiers to question directly and honestly any buddy who exhibits suicidal behavior. ACE encourages Soldiers to take a buddy directly to a chaplain or behavioral health provider - never leave a buddy alone. Suicide awareness briefings for leaders and Soldiers, videos for Soldier training, a commander's toolkit and posters are also available through CHPPM.
The suicide prevention task force is committed to challenging and empowering all leaders, particularly first line leaders, to make their units, installation and community a suicide prevention-aware environment for Soldiers, families, and Department of the Army civilians. The CHPPM suicide prevention resources are available for download or ordering through their Web site at http://usachppm.apgea.army.mil/, as well as through local chaplaincy programs. Interested persons may also go to the Army G1 suicide prevention Web site at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp to discover the many resources available for suicide prevention programs.
Everyone has a role in suicide prevention.
Learn what you can do to help save a life.
For more information, contact your unit chaplain, or call a member of the suicide prevention task force through the Army Substance Abuse Program at 396-4100.