U.S. Army Announces Suicide Prevention "Stand Down"

Thursday February 12, 2009

What is it?

To provide training and awareness regarding risk factors related to suicidal behavior, to identify Soldiers at risk for suicide and to intervene appropriately, the Army will conduct a stand-down from Feb.15 to Mar. 15, 2009. The stand-down will include training for peer level recognition of behaviors that may lead to suicidal behavior, and intervention at the buddy level. The stand-down will be followed by a chain-teaching program focused on suicide prevention, from Mar. 15 to Jul. 15, 2009.

Why is this important to the Army?

In 2008, suicidal behavior among Soldiers was at an all time high. A confirmed total of 129 Soldiers took their own lives in 2008. Suicides are occurring across every segment of the Force- Active, Guard and Reserve; officers and enlisted Soldiers; deployed and non-deployed, and those who have not yet been deployed. Army leadership is committed to reversing the trend of increasing suicidal behavior in the force focusing on suicide prevention that promotes leadership communication with everyone in their command. Commanders and first line supervisors will engage their Soldiers, Department of Army civilian, and family members in training programs.

What is the Army doing?

Over the past two years, the Army has enhanced resources and initiatives aimed at identifying and mitigating the causes of suicidal behavior. Key to these efforts is eliminating the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. Soldiers and their families need to understand that it's okay to ask for help. Additionally, the Army is in the process of implementing a Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program which will enhance resiliency and develop a total fitness program for Soldiers, families, and civilians to help them thrive in an era of high operational tempo and persistent conflict. The Army has also signed an agreement with the National Institute for Mental Health for a five-year study to help the Army to identify risk mitigation and intervention strategies to decrease suicidal behavior.

The Army G-1, Human Resource Policy Directorate, Command Policy Programs Division is responsible for the management of the Army Suicide Prevention Program.


Army G-1 Suicide Prevention

U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine

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National Suicide Hotline - 1-800-SUICIDE


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