The Army released suicide data today for the month of November. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 11 potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicides, and 11 remain under investigation. For October, the Army reported nine potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, two have been confirmed as suicides, and seven remain under investigation.
During November 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were five potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicides, and all five remain under investigation. For October, among that same group, there were 17 potential suicides. Of those, six were confirmed as suicides and 11 are pending determination of the manner of death.
"The holiday season is a special time of year, as family and friends gather together and experience the activities, excitement and joy these celebrations offer. Members of the Army family should recognize that it's easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed and even anxious. For some, the holidays bring stress, angst and feelings of depression," said Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy director, Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction Task Force.
“Coping with loneliness, deployment or the absence of friends or relatives can be upsetting and especially painful during the holiday season. Leaders and first-line supervisors should be aware of the risk factors and be on the lookout for changes in the behavior of those around them and recognize that those who need care and support are typically the least likely to seek assistance. We must continue to watch out for each other and be aware of the potential risk factors and warning signs. Our battle buddies, families, friends and co-workers need our support and understanding. Don't be afraid to get involved. Use the ACE (Ask-Care-Escort) model to provide assistance. A visit or even a phone call can make an enormous difference," Philbrick said.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number: 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental U.S. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/ .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is http://www.afsp.org and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at http://www.sprc.org/index.asp .
The website for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is http://www.TAPS.org and they can be reached at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277).