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G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate

Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired

3 September 2008

6

1.

What should you do once the Soldier states he is willing to do anything to avoid deployment? (Ask him if he is considering suicide as a possible alternative. If he says “No”, do not assume he is answering honestly. Probe more deeply; ask more questions regarding his possible intent and plan. If the Soldier says “Yes”, remain calm. Care for the Soldier by removing any means to harm him. Escort the Soldier to the nearest behavioral health provider or chaplain. Do not leave the Soldier alone.)

2.

If you suspect the Soldier is malingering, what should you do? (Regard it as a true incident of suicidal behavior. Let the mental health providers determine the best way to manage this Soldier. Inform your chain-of-command.)

3.

Why should you not just confront the Soldier by telling him his threats are bogus? (Such confrontation violates all the principles of caring for a person with suicidal thought. You might actually drive the person into making a gesture or actually committing suicide. You are punishing the Soldier for expressing his thoughts and feelings and, if he ever does become truly suicidal, he may not express his intent the next time.)

4.

What risk factors has this Soldier demonstrated (even though not necessarily known by the chain-of-command)? (Increased anxiety increased drinking, panic attacks, increased fear; irrational thinking and impaired problem-solving abilities.)

5.

What types of “suicide precautions” should you have in place for suicidal Soldiers who are not hospitalized? (removal of the means to kill him/herself; unit watch; restriction to base; genuine care and concern from the chain-of-command).

Scenario #1 – Pre-deployment

TACTICAL QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:

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