Warrior Country sets up suicide hotline
CAMP RED CLOUD - A new 24-hour suicide prevention hotline has been established by U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I for anyone in Warrior Country considering suicide or trying to help someone who may be suicidal.
The Hotline number is: 010-3762-0457.
USAG Red Cloud and Area I took the step last week to ensure that members of the community can contact a suicide prevention counselor within Warrior Country, seven days a week, day or night.
The new hotline comes as the garrison plays its part in observing Suicide Prevention Month, an Army-wide effort to help curb suicides within the Army family.
The total number of Army suicides in 2012 had risen to 233 as of Sept. 24, an increase of 11 deaths from where the total had stood 12 days earlier, Sept. 13, according to Army records.
"Establishing this new 24-hour Area I suicide prevention hotline number is one of the most important things we can do for the Army family here in Warrior Country," said Col. John M. Scott, commander, USAG Red Cloud and Area I.
"It gives our Soldiers, civilians and family members a fast, one-stop way of getting immediate help from a trained counselor, any time of day or night," he said. "And this help is for anyone who needs it -- a person considering suicide or trying to help someone they think may be considering suicide.
"This is Suicide Prevention Month," Scott noted, "and therefore an especially good time for me to remind all members of the Warrior Country family that each person has a role to play in caring for other members of our community.
"Each of us can do that by something as simple as a smile or a friendly greeting, and by taking a caring, watchful attitude toward those we work and live with," Scott said. "If someone seems down, or troubled, take time to care."
As part of its suicide prevention efforts, Warrior Country this month has held a variety of suicide prevention activities that have included briefings and video presentations on how to spot signs someone may be suicidal, and what to do to help them.
Officials also distributed what's known as the "ACE Card." ACE stands for "Ask-Care-Escort."
The card lists three steps that can be taken with someone who is or may be suicidal: directly ask him whether he's considering suicide; listen closely and give him a chance to talk about what's troubling him; don't leave him alone but instead take him to a health facility, chaplain, to his unit leadership or some other place where trained professionals can take it from there.
Suicide prevention help is also available online. An official Army website, www.preventsuicide.army.mil, contains information, videos, contact numbers and links to other websites, all for the purpose of helping curb suicide.
The confidential Military Crisis Line allows Soldiers who are active-duty, Guard or Reserve, and their families, to phone for confidential help. The Military Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255, then press 1.
For confidential online chat, visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ActiveDuty.aspx and select the red confidential chat tab at the top of the page.
The new Hotline number will also be displayed prominently on TV screens in a suicide prevention public service announcement Scott has recorded for broadcast by AFN Casey. The spot will air recurringly over a period of several months.