News: BAMC raises awareness with Suicide Prevention Stand Down Day
Story by Maria Gallegos
SAN ANTONIO -- Brooke Army Medical Center and other Army units across San Antonio have set aside a day to focus on the importance of suicide prevention and awareness.
The Army will conduct a Suicide Prevention Stand Down Day for all soldiers Sept. 27, Army civilians and interested family members.
The theme of this day is “Shoulder to Shoulder, We Stand Up for Life.”
This stand down aims to promote good health, and will include team discussions and training, resiliency training, and risk-assessment screenings.
At BAMC, staff and family members will take part in activities that will help prevent further loss of life, enhance awareness of resources available, improve health and discipline, and reduce the stigma often attached to seeking help from behavioral health professionals.
“Suicide prevention is a shared responsibility of commanders, leaders, soldiers, and civilians at all levels. We must work together to combat this complex, pervasive issue that affects everyone in our society,” said Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commander of BAMC and Southern Regional Medical Command.
“On this day, we will scale back operations and help familiarize our service members, civilians and families of the resources available to them, while also focusing on how to reduce the stigma associated with seeking care for behavioral health issues,” he added.
“Our leaders and supervisors will conduct face to face soldier assessments and provide a virtual tour of support organizations on post so everyone will know where to seek help if needed.”
Although the stand down is designated for one day, Wong emphasized the importance of staying focused throughout the year on the overall fitness and well-being of the force.
“I encourage everyone to participate in the stand down day events with an open mind,” Wong said. “Suicide is a complex issue, but by working together and looking out for one another, we can combat it. Remember, it is not a weakness to seek help when needed; it is a sign of strength.”
For more information on suicide prevention and awareness click on MilitaryOneSource at http://www.militaryonesource.com or call 1-800-342-9647; or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).