G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
Other Soldiers are the first line of defense in the Army’s suicide prevention program. How do you prepare yourself for this role? What behaviors must you master in order to fulfill this role? (Know the warning signs of suicide. Know the leading causes of suicide, Be constantly vigilant. Take immediate action when you suspect that someone may be suicidal. Use ACE. Be aware of the resources available to assist the Soldier. Use the expertise of your chain-of-command. Help promote the view that help-seeking behaviors are healthy and a sign of courage, strength, and intelligence.)
How much training in suicide prevention is enough? How much can realistically fit into your training schedule? How frequently should such training be given? How should new arrivals to your unit be included in this process? When can one stop training in suicide prevention? (for discussion; training can never be stopped)
Is suicide a medical or Command problem. How can behavioral health specialists and unit Commanders best work together to reduce the occurrence of suicidal behaviors? (there may be disagreement, but suicide appears to be a Command problem in that Commanders have the means to create a supportive and caring environment. The behavioral health provider is best viewed as a consultant to the unit Commander, providing the Commander with information to help him/her make personnel management decisions)
As a unit commander, do you think someone who has been psychiatrically hospitalized for suicidal behaviors can ever be successfully reintegrated into the unit? (for discussion).
What kind(s) of training do you think is necessary to “harden up” Soldiers, make them more resilient, and make them less vulnerable to suicidal impulses? Do you think BATTLEMIND is enough to reduce suicidal behaviors? (again, for discussion).
Scenario #9 - R&R
TACTICAL QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: