REACH program cultivates suicide prevention mindset
A new suicide prevention course, the REACH (Resources Exist, Asking Can Help) program, aimed at removing barriers and stigma for those seeking help is being implemented by the Fort Huachuca Suicide Prevention Program for service members, families and the installation community in late February 2021. (Photo Credit: courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – A new suicide prevention course aimed at removing barriers and stigma for those seeking help is being implemented by the installation Suicide Prevention Program here for service members, families and the installation community in late February 2021.

“I am excited to share a suicide prevention tool that is coming to Fort Huachuca,” said Joanne Prince, Suicide Prevention Program manager at the Soldier & Family Readiness Center. “The REACH (Resources Exist, Asking Can Help) program is cultivating a new mindset around help-seeking in the military.”

This mindset change applies to lifting the stigmas surrounding service members’ requests for medical or mental health assistance in mental health crises, suicidal ideations, or possible suicide attempts.

“This program empowers service members to use Department of Defense, service-branch specific, and local self-help resources without these barriers or stigmas standing in the way,” Prince said.

According to the 2019 Department of Defense Status of Forces Survey, service members indicate their preferred format for suicide prevention training is small group discussions.

The REACH Program endows service members with insights and the ability to find resources and receive the help they need when in crisis.

“The REACH Program educates military leaders at all levels,” Prince said. “REACH is not only for their Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines — it’s for [leaders] too.”

All echelons of leadership are integral in this cultural change.

“None of us are immune from problems in life,” said Prince. “And, the transformation has to start at the local level.”

The suicide crisis is rampant, taking hundreds of lives per year. The REACH program is a welcome vehicle to educate all military members.

“Initially, we will train twelve facilitators around the end of February,” Prince said. “The facilitators will then, in turn, be able to train others across the installation.”

A REACH program for spouses will be available by the end of March 2021, Prince added.

“I am hopeful we will be able to offer the program to family members around the end of April or the beginning of May,” she said.

“REACH is about preventing suicide,” according to the www.REACH.gov website. “It is for and about everyone because we all have risk and protective factors that we need to recognize and understand.

“When we REACH to those in need, we will provide hope. When we REACH because we are hurting, we will find help. When we REACH, we will prevent suicide.”

For more information on the REACH program contact the Suicide Prevention Program manager at 520.538.1313 or visit https://www.reach.gov/resources/veterans/.

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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 964 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

We are the Army's Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/