By Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin, Garrison Command Sergeant MajorJune 23, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - First, let me remind you that suicide prevention rests on all our shoulders… no Soldier, leader, Department of the Army Civilian or Family Member stands alone.
I want to take this opportunity to once again tap the entire Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield community to ensure that you are all engaged in on suicide watch and prevention. One suicide is one too many.
Stewart-Hunter has joined the rest of the Army in meeting the challenge to amplify our efforts to prevent suicides, especially during this upcoming period of reuniting Families with their Soldiers. For some Families, reintegration could be a period of high stress in new territory. Hence, I call upon you veteran spouses to be much aware of your surroundings and to stand ready to assist or call someone who can assist when you suspect a problem.
Let members of your community know that the command genuinely cares about their well-being and that help is available. You can do this by reaching out, talking and listening.
Also, I encourage the NCO Corps, green-tab leaders, and first line supervisors to continue your efforts to remind Soldiers, DA Civilians and Family Members that their Army remains committed to help, support, and assist with helping to meet their hardships and challenges head on.
As you leaders move about the community, troop the line, walk through the facilities, stop by the barracks, eat a meal in the dining establishments, or wherever members of the Army Family gather, take those opportunities to look each and every member in the eye and convey that THEY MATTER and are valued by YOU and the Army at large.
Suicide prevention starts with YOU! NCOs, veteran spouses of the community, and civilian leadership: You are our first line of defense against the tragedy of suicide. Combating suicides means more than prevention. It requires promoting a holistic approach to address the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of taking care of Soldiers, Civilians, their Families, and communities.
I am calling upon you all to join the senior and garrison commanders and myself in focusing to build and maintain a resilient Army Family here. We are counting on you to help the Army accomplish this mission.
There are many programs offered at Stewart-Hunter to promote team building, communication, and help build resiliency in Soldiers and Families. These programs include financial readiness programs, Family strengthening programs, chaplains, and behavioral health counseling services. Let’s make sure Soldiers, DA Civilians and Family Members are aware of these programs and encourage them to take advantage of the services. Call Army Community Service at (Stewart) 912-767-5058 or (Hunter) 912-315-6816 to get more information.
Also, tell everyone about the many excellent resources available for suicide prevention " the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for crisis intervention, and Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647 for resources and counseling are some national considerations for help.
Locally, you can call for other urgent mental health concerns; specialists are available during normal duty hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday:
• Fort Stewart Behavioral Health Clinic 1083 Worcester Avenue, building 9242: 912-767-1654/7301.
• Fort Stewart Family Life Chaplains: 912-767-1814.
• Military and Family Life Consultants (492 William H. Wilson Avenue, building 507): 912 432-8980.
• Army Community Service at Fort Stewart (191 Lindquist Road, Building 86), 912-767-5058 or at Hunter Army Airfield (171 Haley Avenue, Building 1286), 912-315-6816
• Army Substance Abuse Program: 912-767-5267
• Hunter Army Airfield Tuttle Army Health Clinic 230 Duncan Drive, building 1440: 912-315-6500/4240. Call 911 during non-duty hours.
Additionally, the on-call chaplain can be reached 24/7 at 912-767-8667 to request chaplain assistance for yourself or for someone you believe is depressed and in danger of harming themselves.
Remember " YOU ARE NOT ALONE!