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.

Resources:

Army G-1 Suicide Prevention

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

Army Well Being

National Suicide Hotline - 1-800-SUICIDE

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with "2008 Army Posture Statement"

- Early Bird News Site

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

The Army Community Relations Calendar

Blogger's Roundtable

The White House Blog

SOCIAL NETWORKING

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Commentary: What I have learned about the Army (ARNews)
  • Soldiers can now expect to turn in less gear at CIF during PCS moves (ARNews)
  • President Obama reaches out to senior NCOs (ARNews)
  • West Point addressing recent suicides (AT)
  • More U.S. Army recruits lack basic education (HA)
  • Top Army recruiter sizes up enlistment in Minnesota (ST)
  • Army Prep School marks 6-month anniversary (ARNews)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • U.S. faces major challenge in Afghanistan (BS)
  • Anthropologist's war death reverberates (BG)
  • Lost U.S. weapons may be going to Taliban, GAO says (WP)
  • Troops stay sharp in quieter Iraq (WT)
  • Soldiers question Iraq's ability to sustain its progress (S&S)
  • U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb (LAT)
  • Opinion: U.S. troops helped to stabilize Iraq (AZ)

OF INTEREST

  • First Tomb Badge recipient laid to rest (ARNews)
  • EOD member sets world record in bomb suit (ARNews)
  • Satellites destroyed in orbital collision (WSJ)
  • Exclusive: Envoys rush to Moscow to save key base (WT)
  • Next flash point over terror detainees: Bagram prison (CSM)
  • Congressman's online Twitter posts raise security concerns (BG)
  • Army Spouse wins Food Network's ultimate recipe showdown (ARNews)

WORLD VIEW

  • Pakistan admits India attack link (BBC | Article)
  • Pakistan links to Kabul raid probed (AJ | Article)
  • Afghan arms are at risk, report says (IHT | Article)
  • Britain ready to send 300 more troops to help 'surge' in Afghanistan (TOI | Article)
  • Putin says no cuts in defense (TMT | Article)
  • Opinion: David King: Iraq was the first 'resource war' of the century (GRD | Article)

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

  • Army seeks new 'stinger' grenade (Wired)
  • Report exposes failures of Army mental health care (HJ)
  • Suicide from Salon.com (PW)
  • "The death dealers took my life!" (EP)
  • Recruiting stand-down ordered in wake of recruiter suicides (DMZ)
  • Building bridges and security in Iraq (SS)
  • Woody Harrelson respects Soldiers - finally (1B)
  • Wounded veterans to get laptop computers (SM)

ARMY SPORTS

Sports at a glance

Rain delays Sarge's quest for 7th NHRA title

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.

Events

2009: Year of the NCO

February 2009: African American History Month

Feb. 25- 27, 2009: AUSA Winter Symposium

STAND-TO!

STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.