Fort Hood Soldiers Training to Save Lives, September Marks Suici - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Fort Hood Soldiers Training to Save Lives, September Marks Suicide Prevention Month

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(KCEN) – It's not easy to talk about… most would rather change the subject, but for staff sergeant Kyle Wilson suicide is an issue he wishes more people would address.

“It's taboo. The more we speak about it the easier it becomes, and the more sensitive we are to it,” he said.

Wilson is just one of many Fort Hood soldiers taking the two day ASIST workshop. Standing for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, the program shows soldiers the warning signs of people who could be contemplating suicide. It also opens up personal discussions on beliefs, stigmas, and experiences surrounding suicide.

“For me I had somebody who was near and dear to me, and they tried to take their life away. We were able to get her help, but I can only imagine if I had this class and saw the signs,” Wilson said.

For some the signs go unnoticed, or they don't get the help they need.

The Army reported 325 soldiers, including Army National Guard and Reserves, committed suicide in 2012. Last year they saw a slight drop with 301 soldiers. Of those, 7 were from Fort Hood, and so far this year Fort Hood officials confirm eight soldiers took their lives, and another four are pending as their investigations continue.

“We want people to understand that we are our brother and sister's keepers, and that we really need to watch each other,” Fort Hood suicide prevention program manager Sharon Sutton said.

Sutton says the lower numbers of suicides reported in recent years at Fort Hood can be attributed to more people embracing suicide prevention and intervention.  “You have to look at the nature of what we're asking our soldiers to do, and so that needs to come into consideration when you're looking at what they're jobs are on a daily basis and the stress we put them under,” she said.

Sutton says through ASIST they train about 2,000 soldiers a year. Statistically, she says most of them within six months will end up intervening in a person's plan or thoughts to commit suicide.

“Every day should be suicide prevention month. We should always be looking out for one another, looking for those risk factors and warning signs,” she says.

For Wilson, he says he'll take what he learned from the class and use it to help his fellow soldiers. “It's okay to ask for help,” he said.”For those who know someone thinking about it seek help for them, or simply just ask them.”

For more help on suicide prevention or intervention (click here).
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