September to be observed as
Suicide Prevention Month
|By Suicide Prevention Task Force, U.S. Army
What is it?
The Army will demonstrate its ongoing commitment to enhancing Health
Promotion / Risk Reduction / Suicide Prevention (HP/RR/SP) programs for
Soldiers, Department of the Army (DA) civilians, and Families by
observing Army Suicide Prevention Month, Sept. 1 - 30, in conjunction
with National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5 - 11. Suicide Prevention
Month is an Armywide opportunity to raise awareness, understanding, and
use of Army HP/RR/SP programs among our key internal and external
What has the Army done?
More than 160 Active-duty Soldiers committed suicide during 2009,
continuing a five-year trend of increasing suicides in the Army. In
response, the Army instituted a multi-level, holistic approach to
HP/RR/SP that recognizes the many challenges our Soldiers, Families and
Army civilians face.
Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff, U.S. Army, has said that
“Soldiers today live a lifetime in their first six years of service;
(they) experience more during their first enlistment than most of their
civilian peers will in a lifetime.”
Army programs aim to assist Soldiers, Families and Army civilians with
their “lifetime” of challenges, including substance abuse, financial and
relationship problems, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
In spring 2009 the DA established the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force
(ASPTF), an organization focused on promoting Soldier, civilian and
Family wellness. The Army also launched the Army Campaign Plan for
Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention (ACPHP) in an
effort to better synchronize efforts between multiple programs focused
on care and support services.
Since its inception, the ASPTF has identified and executed more than 240
improvements to Army HP/RR/SP efforts, and, in July, released the Army
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to strive to maintain a combat edge while
reinforcing the garrison systems necessary to best care for Soldiers, DA
civilians and families. It will do so by directly addressing the more
than 240 recommendations made in the Army HP/RR/SP report released in
In August, the ASPTF was reorganized as the Army Health Promotion, Risk
Reduction Task Force, which now is responsible for implementing these
Why is this important to the Army?
Reducing the incidence of suicide within the Army requires a holistic
approach to improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of our
Soldiers, Families and civilians. Focusing on the resiliency and
positive life-coping skills of our Army Family will not only lower
suicide rates, but will enhance the quality of life for our entire Army
For more information, visit the website
http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/contactus.asp or call
1-800-273-TALK (8255) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (crisis
intervention)1-800-342-9647 Military OneSource (Resource Information).
Suicide prevention is available at the website