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    Tools are available to prevent, educate

    Tools are available to prevent, educate

    Courtesy Photo | Virtual Help Box is one of the applications that can be downloaded from the Apple App...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Fort Hood Public Affairs Office

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Fort Hood officials kicked off Suicide Prevention Month Tuesday, which runs through the end of September.

    Maj. Gen. John Uberti, III Corps deputy commander – operations, signed a proclamation Tuesday at the III Corps Headquarters, recognizing the importance of suicide prevention in the Army ranks.

    Uberti said that this is an area where as an Army, a lot of focus is on suicide prevention during his remarks.

    “It’s appropriate today that we take a moment to recommit ourselves … to prevent the loss of even one of our teammates,” Uberti said.

    Sharon Sutton, suicide prevention program manager, Directorate of Human Resources, said suicide prevention is very important because the Army is like a family and suicides can have a major impact on the organization as a whole.

    “I think it all comes back to readiness and how suicides impact not only that individual and their family, but it can impact the readiness for an entire unit, an entire organization and an entire installation,” Sutton said. “We look at that as what do we need to do to make our Soldiers resilient? So that they’re available to meet any mission that is dictated for them to have to address.”

    Sutton said her main priority is to educate Soldiers and Families about the warning signs and how to intervene when someone is thought to have suicidal tendencies. She said the more people know about the warning signs, the more apt a potential suicide can be avoided.

    “The other thing from our perspective is understanding what some of your stressors are and what types of things you can do to decrease the stressors. The other thing that we also do is do training so that people are aware of what signs of suicide look like.

    And then we arm them with skills so they can help intervene when someone might be at risk of suicide,” Sutton said. “I really think that knowing what to look for and then knowing what to do makes our community more ready, willing and able to address suicide when we see it instead of missing it. Really, anyone could be at risk of suicide.”

    An emerging technology has been developed by the Department of Defense to combat suicides. Smartphone and tablet applications are available to those in need of assistance. These apps work in different ways to help those with suicidal thoughts.

    “We’re trying to get to people way before it leads to something that severe. In today’s age … a majority of people are going to have a device like a smartphone,” said Bill Loggins, Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program manager, III Corps. The fact that you have DoD-created and -approved apps that can assist with preventing suicides, I think is genius.”

    There are currently three DoD apps which a user can download from either the Apple App Store or Google Play if they need suicide prevention assistance.

    Virtual Hope Box – This app is designed to distract from negative thoughts with games, mindfulness exercises, positive messages, inspirational messages quotes and other tools.

    “It’s designed to give somebody that reason to live,” Loggins said. “Of all of the apps, I would say that this one would be at the top, related to suicide prevention.”

    Life Armor – Life Armor allows users to explore the causes, characteristics and potential solutions to emotional, relationship and other issues.

    “It leads you to information on self-management,” Loggins said of the app.

    Positive Activity Jackpot – This app is designed to motivate users to get up and get out to do something to take their mind off negative thoughts.

    “This is for somebody who can’t find something on a Saturday,” Loggins said. “You’re getting a social aspect. You’re getting out and doing something positive.”

    Other initiatives are taking place on a regular basis on Fort Hood. Role Play is a a live performance with actors, role playing different scenarios about suicide warning signs, risk factor and how to intervene. It can be viewed at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every Wednesday at Palmer Theater.

    There is also a Safe Talk training session that can occur weekly if anyone on the installation wishes to attend the training.

    It’s an opportunity to get some of the suicide prevention training that Soldiers receive. To form a training session, call 287-5245 or 287-0640. The training includes a three hour block of instruction.

    Lastly, a program for Suicide Prevention Resiliency Day will be held Sept. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Abrams Physical Fitness Center, Bldg. 23001, 62nd Street and Support Avenue. The program will host a variety of activities that will focus on building resiliency and suicide awareness.

    “The way that we are approaching Suicide Prevention Month this year is really about taking action. How do we take action to create the strongest Soldiers, DA civilians and family members we can? We’re really looking at creating a community that doesn’t just survive, but really thrives,” said Sutton about the Suicide Prevention Resiliency Day program. “So, we’re putting in a lot of physical, spiritual, and emotional activities so that we can touch all those bases.”



    Date Taken: 09.03.2015
    Date Posted: 09.03.2015 13:32
    Story ID: 175178
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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