By Dr. Shayne Gallaway, USAG Ansbach ASAPAugust 26, 2014
ANSBACH, Germany (Aug. 26, 2014) -- Throughout September, the Army is emphasizing suicide prevention, an epidemic that increased steadily from 2005 through 2012.
The Army reported approximately 300 active-duty Soldier deaths by suicide during 2013, and a much larger number of Soldiers who were hospitalized for attempted suicides or suicidal ideation. Suicides are also occurring among family members and Department of the Army civilians.
A letter signed by the Secretary of Army, Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Sergeant Major of the Army describes this year's theme, "Enhancing Resiliency -- Strengthening Our Professionals," which reinforces the pledge to build resilience and to support those in need. The Army is committed to reducing the number of suicides and believes the Ready and Resilient Campaign (R2C) is effectively providing Soldiers and leaders important tools in that mission.
Events taking place in the Ansbach communities during the month of September for Soldiers, Family members, and DA civilians to raise awareness of suicide prevention will include:
- R2C Suicide Prevention Awareness 3K Walk/Run (Urlas Housing, Sept. 24, 9 a.m.)
- Ask, Care, and Escort (ACE) Suicide Prevention training (Bismark and Storck Barracks Theaters, Sept. 23 and 25)
- Leader Terrain Walk exploring helping services (Katterbach, Storck Barracks)
- Increased messaging and dissemination of suicide prevention resources.
There are people in our community who may be struggling with issues and may be considering suicide as an option. Most people considering suicide as an option do not want to die.
It's the little things we do that can have the greatest impact: Ask how people are doing (and listen to what they say) and ask people if they have plans for the weekend. If someone seems a little down or is distancing themselves from others, make an attempt to include them in your activities.
For additional information or resources related to Suicide Prevention or Suicide Prevention Month, call the USAG Ansbach Suicide Prevention Program at 0980-283-1710 or DSN 467-1710 or visit www.ansbach.army.mil/DirectoryS.html#Suicide_Prevention_and_Awareness.
For additional information or resources related to the Ready and Resilient Campaign, call 0981-183-7904 or visit www.ansbach.army.mil/ReadyResilient.html.