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G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate

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

3 September 2008

64

1.

How would you employ the ACE strategy to help this service member? (Ask him about any possible suicidal feelings. Do not be satisfied with an initial, “No”. If he is indeed suicidal, care for him by removing any means of inflicting self harm and escort him to a mental health provider. If he is not suicidal, he may still need mental health services to assist him in dealing with his current depression and loss.)

2.

What risk factors are present to suggest that this individual may act impulsively to harm himself? (He has the means, i.e. a weapon. He is depressed and probably not thinking clearly, and he is abusing alcohol. He feels hopeless and does not see alternatives available to him.)

3.

Since you do not know about these risk factors, how are you going to make a judgment regarding this Soldier’s needs? (You are not going to make such a judgment; you will leave that to the professionals. Your job is to get your friend to those professionals. However, in determining your course of action, always be conservative, erring if necessary in the direction of safety. Given the information you DO have, it would be wise to escort your friend to a mental health provider’s, or a Chaplain’s, office for further evaluation. You already have indications of suicidal thought, given the Soldier’s statement to the effect, “…I can no longer cope; I can’t live without her.”)

4.

Once your friend conveys possible suicidal ideation to you, do you have a moral, ethical, or legal obligation to him? (In this scenario, one certainly has an ethical obligation to his/her friend. Helping your friend is certainly the “right” thing to do. In terms of morality, any obligation you have would depend upon your own personal beliefs and attitudes. Any legal obligation would be defined by Army regulation and/or local policies and procedures.)

5.

How does one know when the acute danger of suicide has passed? (The mental health professional, Chaplain, or chain-of-command will let you know.)

Scenario #9 - R&R

OPERATIONAL QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:

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