Suicide in the ranks

As I sit here at my keyboard I am saddened by the actions of a soldier. He attempted to take his own life the other night.

Thanks the the quick actions of other soldiers that were near him, “Soldier Smith” is alive.

As an army wife I have heard the statistics and heard of this happening in other units. I never really thought about it happening in a unit I love and care about. “It’s the it wont happen to me syndrome.” (Please note as I write this my emotions are still raw, this was a recent event.)

I am happy that “Soldier Smith” survived thanks to the actions of “Soldiers Blue & Brown.” (No these aren’t their real names you just don’t need to know them.)

The Soldiers all go through suicide prevention training, my thought is why can’t spouses receive the same training on a voluntary basis?

I know the training must cost something but it may save lives. With the rate of suicide in the ranks I think offering the class to spouses and other interested family members would be an easy step. 

The second thing I have to say about this is a plea. Please talk to someone if you feel depressed or worse. Even if you just know someone who has attempted suicide find a battle buddy and talk to them. The battle buddy may come in the shape of a friend relative, chaplain or spouse, just speak up. There is no harm in finding a willing ear. 

I have personally spoken to several of the soldiers impacted by this incident and offered to be such a battle buddy. I assured them the only reason I would contact anyone was if I felt they were going to harm themselves or someone else.

This is not a subject to be taken lightly. For now the best I can offer are links to the signs and symptoms. Someone you know may be at risk.

Suicide & the Military

Veterans Suicide Line

Military One Source

If anyone knows how spouses and other interested family members can get free training on suicide prevention from the Army please contact me

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