September is Suicide Prevention Month. The theme for this year's observance is A Healthy Force is a Ready Force. The Army Suicide Prevention Program focuses on minimizing suicidal behavior by training Soldiers, leaders, Department of the Army civilians and family members to recognize signs of suicidal behavior, intervention strategies and how to refer individuals for care.

During the Army Suicide Prevention Month, agencies and organizations throughout the Army will execute appropriate educational activities to observe Suicide Prevention Month. HQDA will sponsor a health fair on Sept. 12- 13, 2012 in the Pentagon center courtyard, with representation from various government and non-government agencies to showcase Health Promotion Risk Reduction Suicide Prevention Program (HPRRSP) and Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) resources. Former NFL player Herschel Walker will speak at the health fair to share his testimony of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with attendees.

A Suicide Prevention Month 2012 link has been established on the Army Suicide Prevention website to facilitate HPRRSP and CSF2 training and resource needs. Public service announcements with senior leaders messaging are disseminated throughout the Army to support Army leaders. The VCSA has directed an Army wide Stand Down for Sept. 27, 2012. The theme for the Stand Down is Shoulder to Shoulder, We Stand Up for Life.

The loss of any member of the Army family is a tragedy regardless of the reason and can have a profound impact on overall readiness. Through leadership, education, and respect for each other, we can reduce or eliminate the stigma associated with suicide and help-seeking behaviors. The Army employs a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to suicide prevention that includes health promotion risk reduction and CSF2. Ensuring prompt access to quality health care is an essential component to the Armys approach to suicide prevention.