G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
How does one manage relationship problems that have the potential of impacting mission accomplishment? Is it Command’s job to concern themselves with such problems? Within the command, who is best suited to address such problems? (Yes, anything that impacts unit performance is a concern of Commanders. The NCO staff appears best suited to identify and monitor such problems, making appropriate referrals when necessary.)
What support personnel/offices has Command made available to this Soldier and to other Soldiers? (Community Mental Health; Combat Stress Team; Brigade Psychologist’s office; her chain-of-command; chaplains, JAG; possibly others).
In some cases, one suicide has reportedly set off a “cluster” of other suicides. What mechanisms would you put in place to prevent a cluster of suicides/suicide attempts? (the most effective mechanism is a trained and sensitive chain-of-command that effectively and efficiently communicates information upwards and downwards; the entire chain-of-command must be genuinely caring and supportive, even if individuals feel they are being manipulated; one could ask chaplains and/or mental health experts to come into the organization and present frank information regarding suicide).
How will you determine the success or failure of suicide prevention measures you have implemented? (Command climate surveys; Battlemind survey; Behavioral Health Needs Assessment survey).
The suicide rate of your unit has consistently been higher than other units at the same echelon, even though you have implemented a suicide prevention program. What steps can you take to change this situation? (consult with your chain-of-command; consult with other leaders at the same echelon to determine what differences exist between your and their units; consult with behavioral health specialists; survey your unit regarding individual stressors and stressors that affect the entire unit; ensure that your chain of command is knowledgeable about, and sensitive to, behaviors which can signal potential suicidal thought).
STRATEGIC QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:
Scenario #3 – Deployed Female