Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
McCoy supported the Armyís suicide prevention program by presenting
the interactive training video "Beyond the Front" to
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Brown
talks about the new suicide video being used to help train
Soldiers and federal civilian employees. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
(Lt. Col.) James Brown of the Fort McCoy Religious Support Office
(RSO) said the sessions, which were held from Feb. 23-March 10, built
on the information RSO personnel taught in the Suicide Awareness
Suicide Awareness Courses we taught used the ACE (ask, care and
escort) program," Brown said. "The training helped military
personnel identify the warning signs and what steps they could take if
they became involved with someone contemplating suicide."
"Beyond the Front" program uses the ACE program, but takes
participants, including Department of the Army civilian employees,
through two interactive scenarios involving potential suicide cases.
Brown said participants are presented with multiple-choice decisions
about what they should do at various points during the scenarios. If
participants made bad choices, they were taken back in the cycle to
make better choices, he said.
training will be followed by the "Shoulder to Shoulder, No
Soldier Stands Alone" video, beginning March 15.
said the third phase of the required training will establish an annual
Neil Hogie, one of the instructors from Fort McCoy Headquarters and
Headquarters Company, said the training helps Soldiers and civilian
employees recognize the warning signs of potentially suicidal
personnel and helps them determine what aid to give or seek. The other
instructors are Staff Sgt. Alexander Crocker and 1st Sgt. Steven Dryer
of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, who have done the bulk of
the training, Brown said.
need to know the signs of and be aware of potential suicidal
behavior," Hogie said. "If people are showing suicidal
behavior, you need to get them the help they need."
outcome of the training is to build awareness of the signs of the risk
of suicidal ideations, which are the capacity of an individual to
formulate plans about suicide, and an understanding of the courage it
takes to help that person get qualified help from a provider such as a
chaplain, combat stress team, a local pastor, or a counselor.
of these situations can arise from deployments or during the
readjustment period of redeployments, Hogie said.
interactive video "Beyond the Front" presented a scenario
from each situation and allowed participants to make choices the
personnel in the scenario might make. The participants could see the
results of those choices and discuss what impact they would have on a
person with suicidal ideations.
not something, however, that happens only with or to deployed
Soldiers, Hogie said. With the impending deployment of Soldiers from
the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, personnel in the Fort McCoy
community may be dealing with these issues firsthand.
personnel are from our front yards, (with units in) Onalaska, Prairie
du Chien, Black River Falls, etc.," Hogie said. "We need to
be aware of behaviors that may lead to potential suicidal
who are involved in multiple deployments may be subjected to changing
families have made it this far with their servicemember in-theater and
now the Soldier has returned home wanting to pick up where he/she left
off. The redeploying Soldier has to adjust to many family dynamic
changes, such as children moving into teenage years or spouses having
taken on additional responsibilities, during their deployments, he
said. This may change the dynamics of them reassimilating into their
to the beliefs of many people, personnel donít think about
committing suicide as a way to end a life, he said.
see it as a way to get out of a problem or to get out of a hurtful
said personnel have a number of opportunities to seek assistance at
information is available by calling the RSO at 608-388-3528. Military
personnel also can call the Behavioral Health Office at 608-388-4679.
the situation has reached a dangerous stage, personnel can call 911
and the information will be relayed to the appropriate officials in a
timely manner, Hogie said.
personnel also can call toll-free at 877-877-3647 or visit the Web
to take an anonymous, mental health or alcohol use self-assessment.
(See related story)