G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate
Supporting Soldiers, Families & Civilians – Active, Guard, Reserve and Retired
3 September 2008
As reservists and guardspersons are assigned to your unit, what kinds of things can you do to decrease their risk of suicide?
You have learned that this Captain is feeling hopeless and has entertained some thoughts of suicide. You decide to counsel him. What kinds of things would you, as his Commander, say? What kind of referrals might you make? Are there other resources available to help this officer solve his problems in a more appropriate manner?
In talking with this young officer, he states that he feels overwhelmed and that he fears his decision-making might be impaired. He does not know how to get back on track and, though he is not currently suicidal. He keeps having recurrent, intrusive thoughts about what it might be like to be dead. He has begun to question the meaning of life. He states he cannot guarantee that he will not, at some point in the future, engage in suicidal behaviors. What do you do?
The Captain takes your advice and seeks mental health consultation. He is placed on antidepressant medications. However, six weeks later, he feels no better and continues to experience his symptoms. What should you do next?
The mental health provider ultimately decides that hospitalization is in the Captain’s bests interest. Realistically, do you feel this Captain can return from his hospitalization and successfully be reintegrated into his leadership position?
Scenario #10 – Pre-deployment