FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Suicide is not an individual act but an action that reverberates like a shockwave impacting all those in its wake.
“Suicide doesn’t just affect the person who completes the act. It affects people within their circle of friends, their family members, the unit, and the entire organization,” said Lt. Col. Osceola Evans, Chief of Behavioral Health, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and Installation Director of Psychological Health on Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Evans said suicide is a very serious problem that is affecting our society in America. It is the second leading cause of death among young people and the tenth leading cause of death in the nation.
For those grieving the loss of a loved one, friend or co-worker, it is important to take care of themselves. There are support groups available to loss survivors when they are ready to discuss their loss. Writing a letter to a lost loved one allows them to say the things they didn’t get to say before their loss.
Evans shared his own struggle after he experienced losing someone to suicide and what he did to cope.
“I reached out for help to talk with the chaplain due to some of the feelings I was having. Some of those feelings included confusion, anger, and guilt. Those feelings are normal and it helped for me to talk with someone about that. And there are people who are available to help you as well,” said Evans. “So if you have been affected by someone who completed suicide, there is help available as you process the feelings related to that. These are all very serious issues and you do not have to go through this alone.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, also features information on its website for loss survivors and how to support someone who has lost a loved one.
Whether it is seeking help personally, for someone else or needing to know how to help, they are available by telephone at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), by text at 838255, or chat through the website https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Individuals may also learn more on Sept. 16, when Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell and community partners host “Light up the Night” in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The candlelight walk and vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. in the hospital’s parking lot, between the A and E buildings. Service member registration for annual training begins at 7 p.m.
“This is the third consecutive year we have held this event for our community and we welcome service members, retirees, federal employees on the installation and family members to come shed light on suicide prevention,” said Evans.
Social distancing practices will be followed and participants must also bring a face covering or mask.
Please follow the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BACH.FortCampbell for updates.