September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. As this annual reminder comes around again, the need for the Army family to address the tragedy of suicide within and around the Army’s ranks has perhaps never been greater. Suicide rates among active military personnel and veterans of the post-9/11 period continue to reach new heights, as they outpace suicide rates among the United States public which have been increasing for the past twenty years. The combination of challenges we are all facing these days – including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our military withdrawal from Afghanistan – make these trends only more concerning, especially within the military community. This year’s Defense Department Suicide Prevention Awareness Month theme, “Connect to Protect – Support is Within Reach,” will aid the Army in increasing awareness of warning signs for at-risk individuals, and enhance understanding of the characteristics of suicidal ideation and coping mechanisms.
This year, the Chaplain Corps is continuing its campaign called, #ReachOne. The #ReachOne campaign challenges all of us to look within our circles of influence and even inside our own squads, to reach out to others, one at a time, who may need an encouraging word and some assistance finding resources for more help. We must make reaching out to others a habit and even a reflex, if we hope to be part of turning the tide against suicide. The graphics attached to this story support the #ReachOne campaign.
Resources to assist you in this effort include the following:
· Defense Suicide Prevention Office 2021 Suicide Prevention Month Outreach Toolkit – https://www.dspo.mil/spm/
· Defense Suicide Prevention Office – https://www.dspo.mil/
· Army Resilience Directorate – https://www.armyresilience.army.mil/
· The President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) – https://www.va.gov/prevents/
· REACH to Prevent Suicide – https://www.wearewithinreach.net/
· TRADOC’s “WeCare” app supporting the Army’s Suicide Prevention Campaign – https://www.army.mil/article/238298
· Military OneSource – https://www.militaryonesource.mil/confidential-help
· 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
2021 Week 01_ReachOne_RegularArmy.pdf [PDF - 2.5 MB]
2021 Week 02_ReachOne_ARNG_USAR.pdf [PDF - 2.6 MB]
2021 Week 03_ReachOne_ArmyFamily.pdf [PDF - 4.6 MB]
2021 Week 04_ReachOne_Veterans.pdf [PDF - 4.1 MB]