U.S. Army Medical Department, Fort Drum NY
Skip Navigation, go to content






















External Links


Interactive Customer Evaluation

Army Knowledge Online - AKO

TriCare Online


Focus on Suicide Awareness and Prevention


Focus on Suicide Awareness and Prevention during designated month and all year long

Each year, September marks Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Ask yourself this question: Who is responsible for suicide prevention? The answer should be a resounding We all are!

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:

  • History of Depression

  • Loss of a close relationship

  • Pending legal action

  • Overwhelming financial debt

  • Loss of rank, job, career

  • Recent combat experience where people have died

What are the warning signs? People who are thinking about suicide usually exhibit signs. It is important to know what these are.

  • Suicidal talk:

    • "I have nothing to live for."

    • "Life isn’t worth living."

    • "People would be better off without me."

    • "I don’t see any future."

  • Death is mentioned in notes or emails

  • Giving away possessions

  • Purchasing or accumulating items for suicide – gun, pills

  • Getting final affairs in order

  • Increase in alcohol use

  • Change in behavior or demeanor

  • Decline in work performance

  • No interest in personal appearance

  • No interest in pleasurable activities

  • Choosing to isolate oneself

  • Change in appetite and sleep patterns

What are the feelings associated with Suicide? Here are common feelings that are associated with suicide. Usually you can see these in a person’s behavior or conversation.

  • Hopelessness or helplessness

  • Worthlessness

  • Anger

  • Guilt or shame

  • Desperation

  • Loneliness

  • Sad or depressed mood

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.

  • "Are you thinking about hurting yourself?"

  • "Do you have thoughts of suicide?"

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.



  • For someone to talk to, call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255, Veterans press 1.

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.
After closure times at FMC Urgent Care, persons with urgent behavioral health concerns should contact Samaritan Medical Center at (315)785-4516 or the Mobile Crisis Services of North Country Transitional Living Services at (315)782-2327.