Intervener or bystander? Intervene to prevent suicides

In this Army News Service file photo, members of the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, the command team from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and members of the USAG Ansbach's Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, help promote suicide prevention by setting up a display at Katterbach Kaserne Sept. 3, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

In this Army News Service file photo, members of the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, the command team from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and members of the USAG Ansbach’s Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, help promote suicide prevention by setting up a display at Katterbach Kaserne Sept. 3, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

By Dr. Shayne Gallaway, manager of the USAG Ansbach Suicide Prevention Program

Three Americans on a train from Amsterdam to Paris disarmed and disabled a gunman. These three demonstrated the importance of being an intervener and not a bystander. Had these Americans not took action, an untold number of innocent people are likely to have been killed.

What would you do in the same situation? How about if you were in a slightly different situation? Have you ever observed someone who might be a danger to themselves – someone coping with more than they could balance on their own? Did you intervene and take action, or were you a bystander?

There are people in our community – Soldiers, civilians, spouses and children – who may be struggling with various issues (examples may include transition, lack of employment, depression, isolation), possibly considering suicide as an option. Everyone can take action by treating one another with dignity and respect, becoming interveners instead of bystanders, offering help and resources, and living the Army Values daily.

Throughout the month of September, the Army emphasizes suicide prevention. The Army remains committed to reducing suicidal behaviors. A large part of the 365-day mission is sustaining personal readiness to enhance protective factors and decrease risk factors and negative behaviors. It’s important everyone is a part of cultivating and sustaining a supportive climate built on trust, dignity and respect.

We are all passengers on the Ansbach community train. Please help make sure we all arrive at our destination of life safe and healthy.

Events taking place in the Ansbach community during the month of September for Soldiers, Family Members and Army Civilians to raise awareness about suicide prevention will include:

  • ASAP hosts Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, or ASIST, at Katterbach Kaserne from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 through 16. This two-day course required pre-registration. To learn more, call 09802-83-1710 or DSN 467-1710.
  • ASAP hosts a few sessions of Ask, Care, Escort – Suicide Prevention Training. Three sessions take place at Bismarck Theater: Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m. One session takes place at Storck Theater Sept. 24 at 9 a.m.
  • ASAP hosts a suicide prevention awareness three-kilometer run/walk at Urlas Community Sept. 25. The run starts at the Post Exchange with registration beginning at 8:15 a.m. and the race starting at 9 a.m. The first 350 participants to register receive a free T-shirt. Pre-registration forms are available at the Katterbach Fitness Center and at the Bunch Fitness Center at Storck Barracks and at the ASAP offices.

For additional information or resources related to Suicide Prevention please contact the USAG Ansbach Suicide Prevention Program at 0980-283-1710 or DSN 467-1710 or visit www.ansbach.army.mil/DirectoryS.html#Suicide_Prevention_and_Awareness.

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