Purpose and Goals of the Suicide Prevention Program
“One suicide is one too many”. Our goal is to improve readiness through the development and enhancement of the Suicide Prevention Program policies designed to minimize suicide behavior; thereby preserving mission effectiveness through individual readiness for Service Members, their Families, and Department of the Army civilians.
Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST)
Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST) is a two day course developed by living works education. The Key learning objective is awareness of person at risk concerns, caregiver tasks, and development of intervention skills using an internationally known suicide intervention model. ASIST two day workshops are coordinated one a month throughout the year by the Suicide Prevention Program Manager (SPPM).
Ask, Care, Escort (ACE) training equips personnel with the skills necessary to recognize suicidal signs and symptoms and basic intervention techniques.
Suicide Intervention Officers (SIOs)
Suicide intervention officers are responsible for formally documenting all suicide activities (completion/attempts) and coordinating movement to next echelon of care. SIOs are responsible for promoting/coordinating September “Suicide Awareness Month. SIOs are also responsible for building a “resource network” specific to their community/unit.
There is an SIO in every Company, Battalion, and Brigade echelon, who has been selected and appointed on orders to be the unit’s subject matter expert. SIOs may range from the rank of staff sergeant to a captain. The unit SIO must coordinator yearly training, data on training, attempts, and completions and forward to the SCNG SPPM.
What to Do in a Suicide Intervention Situation:
- “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
- Ask the question directly. Talk to the person in plain language.
- Be willing to listen and allow the person to express his or her feelings.
- “Please tell me what happened that’s making you fell so distressed right now?”
- Understand that the person may be in pain. Allow and encourage him or her to talk freely.
- Keep your own safety in mind, take action. Make plans to remove lethal means (weapons, pills) and talk about ways to stay safe.
- To the unit leadership, Chaplin, behavioral health professional or emergency room.
- Get help immediately.
- Contact emergency services: 911
- Contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Follow up with person.
- Check back with person to ensure they are taking steps to help themselves