CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, and U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys remains committed to suicide prevention, not just for September, but all year long.
Janette McLaughlin, the suicide prevention program manager for USAG Humphreys, said recognizing suicidal behavior and offering support is the most important thing that can be done at any time, all year round.
She also said an important key factor in preventing suicide is connectedness.
“If you already have a connection with someone who may be contemplating suicide then it opens the window for you to ask,” said McLaughlin. “Having more connections to people that care about them and that they also care about can help individuals continue to want to live.”
McLaughlin admits making connections can be difficult but recommends a few suggestions such as creating unit cohesion activities for service members, finding common interests among individuals, and building lasting relationships.
Having connections can lead someone to take the first step in suicide prevention, which is to “ask.” The USAG Humphreys suicide prevention program trains others in a prevention method called ACE – ask, care and escort.
“Ask how they’re doing. Show genuinely that you care about what’s going on with them and in their lives,” said McLaughlin.
ACE includes these three steps.
Ask, if there are recognizable signs.
· Pay attention to verbal clues.
· Behavioral changes such as withdrawal from social activities, increased substance abuse, or giving away prized possessions.
· Frequent and extreme mood swings, particularly from deep despair to sudden calmness.
· Sudden and prolonged withdrawal from friends and family, social isolation.
· Concerning posts or messages on social media platforms.
Care by approaching the individual.
· Choose the right time and place. Approach the person in a private and safe environment where they feel comfortable.
· Listen actively and without judgment. Show understanding and empathy, letting them know you care.
· Do not be afraid to directly ask if they are thinking about suicide. This can open the door for them to talk about their feelings.
· Encourage them to speak to a mental health professional and offer to help them find resources or make an appointment.
Escort by providing assistance.
· After the initial conversation, continue to check in on them regularly. Let them know you are there for them.
· If possible, help remove access to any means of self-harm, such as firearms, medications, or sharp objects.
· Encourage them to reach out to friends, family, or support groups. Sharing their feelings can reduce isolation.
· Obtain emergency contact information, such as a therapist or crisis hotline, and ensure they have it readily available.
· If you believe the person is in immediate danger, stay with them and call emergency services.
Suicidal behavior is a complex and sensitive issue that affects millions of people worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recognizing the signs that someone may be contemplating suicide and providing them with the necessary assistance can save lives.
USAG Humphreys encourages anyone who may be struggling to seek help and reach out to those if you may know they are struggling.
U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys is the “Army’s Home in Korea” and is located along the western coast of South Korea within the seaport city of Pyeongtaek, approximately 40 miles south of Seoul. Camp Humphreys is the headquarters for the Eighth U.S. Army, the Second Infantry Division, the Army’s most active airfield in the Pacific, and the hub of U.S. Forces Korea.
|Date Posted:||09.27.2023 22:48|
|Location:||CAMP HUMPHREYS, 41, KR|
This work, Recognizing and offering support is a year-round commitment to suicide prevention, by Patrick Bray, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.