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Focus on Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Focus on Suicide Awareness and Prevention during designated month and all year long
Throughout the Army there is a renewed emphasis on taking good care of ourselves and looking out for one another. That means seeking help when I need it. It also means knowing when another person needs help with something and getting that person to someone who can help.
What increases the risk of suicide? Here is a list of factors often seen associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts. Not everyone with these risk factors thinks of suicide. But some do.
Suicide of a close Family member:
What are the warning signs? People who are thinking about suicide usually exhibit signs. It is important to know what these are.
When a constellation of risk factors comes together with behaviors and feelings associated with suicide, it is a sign of strength to find someone to talk to who can help. When the only way out that we can see is suicide, it is time to go to someone who can help us find another way.
When we see a Fort Drum/10th Mountain Soldier or Family member, friend or our own family members showing signs consistent with suicide, there are things we can do to help. The Army has adopted the ACE approach – Ask, Care, Escort.
Ask. It is okay to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide. Here are some ways to do that.
Care. If the person says they are having thoughts of suicide, you can demonstrate that you care. If you can, remove anything the person could use for suicide. By removing the means, you lower the risk. You can demonstrate that you care by encouraging the person to talk about their situation and listening, while keeping good eye contact. Talking also lowers the risk for the person.
Escort. Do not leave the person alone. Talk the person into accepting help from professionals. Then escort the person to a chaplain, a mental health professional, or the hospital. You cannot use force, but you can be as persuasive as possible.
This is a stressful time for Soldiers and their Families due to the extended separations in support of the ongoing war. Many Soldiers spend many months of the year away from home and Family. With the increased stress, it is important that we make a special effort to take good care of ourselves and one another.
Taking good care of one another means taking advantage of programs that reduce stress and build greater resilience. But no matter how many wonderful programs we have, there may come times when burdens are too great to carry alone. That is when we reach out to one another and to the professional in our community.
Note: If you or someone you know has attempted
suicide and there is a life-threatening emergency, call 911. For
other urgent behavioral health concerns, specialists are available for
walk-in appointments from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday at
the Behavioral Health Department, Bldg. P-36, Wilcox Clinic. Behavioral
Health personnel respond to Family Medicine Urgent Care at Guthrie,
Bldg. 11050, for patients with urgent concerns from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm,
Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.