In response, the Army is ramping up anti-suicide education efforts. In January, soldiers with the headquarters company of the 749th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.
“The training goes beyond the suicide prevention training all soldiers receive by providing a structured model to work with in achieving a successful intervention process,” said Staff Sgt. Rudolph Juarez, an Antioch resident and motor pool non-commissioned officer with the 749th.
Juarez, on his second deployment, has been with the 749th for three years. He said the training is valuable for leaders at all levels and considers it a privilege to be able to get this training in a war zone.
The training covers the entire process of how to prevent suicide by studying the actions, thoughts, feelings, events and physical aspects that can contribute to a soldier’s suicidal thoughts.
Spc. Tommy Williams, a signal support systems specialist with the 749th CSSB, also attended the training. “I liked the role-playing in the class, where we role-played different scenarios,” he said. “I don’t wish for anyone to be in this situation, but I’m now more comfortable in being able to help soldiers through this difficult period in their lives.”
Rick Lemyre contributed to this story.