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September 2021 Articles

Department of Defense Releases Calendar Year 2020 Annual Suicide Report

09/30/2021
The Department of Defense released the Calendar Year 2020 Annual Suicide Report. We continue to take action to prevent death by suicides while supporting our military members and their Families. Every death by suicide is a tragedy. The report presents recent death by suicide data for Service members and their Families, and describes current and future efforts underway to combat suicide.

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Army Senior Leader Statement Regarding the DoD Annual Suicide Report Calendar Year 2020

09/30/2021
Joint statement from Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville on the DOD Annual Suicide Report for Calendar Year 2020.

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Army Launches New SHARP Learning Portal

09/30/2021
The U.S. Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Academy (SHARP) is pleased to announce the launch of the SHARP Learning Portal: a one-stop-shop for all SHARP training, resources, and education that serves Department of Army (DA) Soldier and Civilian learners through a public-facing website. Not requiring credentials to access the site ensures learners across the Army, Reserve, and Army National Guard (ARNG) Components can access the materials and resources at their own personal point of need, including on their mobile and tablet devices. The site features access to 24/7 help for those who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment and/or sexual assault through connections to the Army Resilience Directorate and the Department of Defense Safe Helpline.

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Soldiers Build Resiliency with Interactive Theatrical Play in Daegu

09/28/2021
United States Army Garrison Daegu recently hosted a live performance of the suicide prevention play Second Chance at the Camp Henry Theater. The performance was as much a theatrical production as it was a training event—with a cast consisting entirely of active-duty Soldiers. The play tells the story of Spec. Jones, a young Soldier who struggles with depression after making several mistakes.

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III Armored Corps Resiliency Director Talks ‘People First Center’ and Future of Soldier Care at Fort Hood

09/27/2021
Col. William Zielinski, Ready and Resilient Director for III Corps and Fort Hood Texas, discusses the installation’s People First Center, created to support efforts of the Army’s People First Initiative.

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It’s the Little Things That Matter: Connecting with Suicide Prevention Month

09/24/2021
September is Suicide Prevention Month and, according to the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, that prevention begins with connectedness. Having social connections and a feeling of belonging can be a protective factor against suicide, says the DPSO. Connecting with others can be as simple as texting, calling or video chatting- anything that reduces an individual’s loneliness or perception that they are a burden.

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Fort Knox Exceeds 7,816-mile Mark at SHARP Virtual Walk/Run Event

09/22/2021
U.S. Army Human Resources Command personnel easily surpassed the goal they set for themselves in support of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention program’s “Walking for 7,816+” event, reaching 9,390 miles by the mid-month mark. “This is awesome, and I want to say thank you for all that you are doing in support of this event,” said Fort Knox Garrison Sexual Assault Response Coordinator M. Ella Foley. “Please continue to push participation and collect those miles!”

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Hicks Outlines Strategy to Thwart Sexual Assault in Military

09/22/2021
The Defense Department announced its strategy, as approved by the Secretary of Defense, to act on the recommendations of the 90-day Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Military, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks said. DOD constructed the roadmap by creating specialized teams comprising experts across the department. After reviewing the Independent Review Commission's recommendations, experts identified sequencing issues, estimated resource requirements and characterized the risks and benefits associated with different implementation paths. Built in consultation with DOD's civilian and uniformed leadership, the roadmap represents a best-in-practice sexual assault and harassment prevention and response program that ensures rapid action and early and enduring results.

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New SHARP Policy Grants Additional Services to Army Civilians

09/17/2021
The safety and well-being of all Department of the Army Civilians, or DACs, is at the forefront of a policy recently unveiled, which now allows them to receive Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention services. “Our Army Civilians deserve our support if they are victims of a sexual assault,” said James A. Helis, director of the Army Resilience Directorate, which oversees the SHARP program. “We ask our Army Civilians to support the prevention of sexual assault, to take sexual assault training, and to intervene when they can; the very least we can do is to be by their side if they themselves are the victim of sexual assault.”

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Suicide Prevention Month Focuses on Support Efforts to 'REACH' Soldiers, Civilians

09/14/2021
During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Army officials at Fort Knox, Kentucky are reminding military and Civilian personnel of support channels that are designed to reduce death by suicide. With this year’s theme — “Support is Within Reach” — officials say the goal is to encourage connection among personnel by leveraging the five dimensions of personal readiness and resilience.

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Army to Create Independent Entity to Oversee Sexual Assault Cases

09/12/2021
To better protect Soldiers from sexual harassment and sexual assault, the Army will establish an office designed to make decisions to take action on such crimes, according to the Service’s top civilian leader. “We have a moral responsibility to take care of our Army Family like it’s our own Family,” said Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth during a livestream of the National Discussion on Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention at America’s Colleges, Universities and Service Academies.

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405th AFSB Project Inclusion Initiative Continues with Women’s Mentorship Virtual Seminar

09/10/2021
During the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s ongoing Project Inclusion initiative, motivational speaker and Veteran Moniek James discussed women’s roles in the workforce. For women working in business and in leadership roles, James said conflict is inevitable, “We all struggle with conflict, at work especially, but we all know serving in a leadership role comes with certain responsibilities, and that includes dealing with conflict.”

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Relationships, Connections and Support Critical to Preventing Suicide

09/08/2021
As the Department of Defense and the Army observe Suicide Prevention Month this September, officials say it’s critical for people to remember the role that social connections play in preventing suicide, and that help is always available. This year’s theme, “Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach,” emphasizes the importance of personal connections and encourages everyone to “reach” for support when in need, says Traci Waters, Army Substance Abuse Program manager.

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Florida’s Drug Demand Reduction Outreach Program Named Third-Time Winner of Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award

09/07/2021
For the third time in as many years the DoD named the Florida National Guard Counterdrug’s Drug Demand Reduction Outreach (DDRO) Program a Red Ribbon Award Winner. The program excelled above the other 53 states and territories, and this year secured the 31st Annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award. As a testament to the program’s success, Florida also received the 29th and 30th Annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Awards for their prevention efforts during fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

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TRADOC Hosts "This Is My Squad" Leader Panel

09/07/2021
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston and staff sergeants from around the globe came together recently for the This Is My Squad Leader Panel forum, hosted by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. The forum was created for senior and junior leaders to come together and discuss the issues plaguing the Army. As participants in the panel, the staff sergeants were asked to share their perspectives through open discussions with senior leaders.

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Forming Supportive Social Connections at Work

09/03/2021
The Army has been putting a lot of effort in trying to create a healthy social climate where Soldiers can thrive as individuals and team members and/or leaders within their units. The creation of supportive social connections at both the personal and collective level requires striking that delicate balance between ensuring the work environment is not only professional and safe for the individual, but that personal interactions help create camaraderie, strengthen team bonds, and boost morale within the unit.

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Chaplain’s Initiative Aims to Strengthen Spiritual Readiness

09/03/2021
A new initiative by the Chief of Chaplains is helping Army command teams and leaders build Soldiers’ spiritual readiness. The Spiritual Readiness Pilot (SRP) was developed against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and was driven by Army senior leaders’ focus on People First, said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Fisher, Deputy Director of the Chief of Chaplains Initiatives Group. The pilot seeks to do its part to address the big challenges the Army faces in terms of drug misuse, depression, suicidal ideation, and other harmful behaviors.

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Dying to Live: A First Sergeant's Account of Struggle and Healing

09/03/2021
Have you ever felt like you had enough? Tired? Done? And you just want to shut off the noise in your head? Ever been beat down by life and felt like you could not go on? That is how First Sgt. Gracie JP Williams felt. When she returned from her first of three deployments, she attempted to get help for the trauma she experienced. Still, she did not receive the help she needed. When her work performance started to suffer, instead of receiving empathy and guidance from leadership, she was reprimanded, and her rank was threatened. She had reached her breaking point. She attempted suicide and died before being revived.

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It's Important to Talk to Military Kids About Mental Health

09/03/2021
Growing up in a military household has challenges civilian children normally don’t face, and it’s important for Families to have open discussions about feelings and build a support system for their military children also, not just adults. The growing pains of adolescence are enough of a battle to take on, but for military children there’s the additional worry of a parent’s safety, the unpredictability of a Soldier’s job, PCS moves, and frequently saying goodbye to their home and friends.

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Using ACE-SI Training to 'Be a Light' for Those Struggling with Their Mental Health

09/03/2021
An Ask Care Escort – Suicide Intervention (ACE-SI) training is centered around people “being that light” – being that person who intervenes, being intentional and being diligent in paying attention to risk factors and warning signs, being able to develop empathy skills and effective listening skills.

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Best Practices from the Embedded Performance Expert Pilot: Part 3

09/03/2021
This third and final article will highlight what successful Embedded Performance Experts do to sustain performance over time. These interviews revealed the benefits of careful observation, advertising, regular meetings with senior leadership, continued interactions with Soldiers, and being ready to deliver on the spot training.

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CAT Provides Comprehensive Snapshot of Unit Readiness to Commanders

09/03/2021
Since March, three installations have participated in the HQDA’s People First Task Force Cohesion Assessment Team (CAT) pilot and there are plans to expand it to other locations. This independent review pilot consists of a team of approximately 20 subject matter experts. The CAT conducts a deep dive into one or two battalions at an installation, collecting historical and primary data to obtain a comprehensive snapshot for the battalion, brigade, and division leadership.

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Performance Experts Help Cadets Thrive During Summer Training

09/03/2021
To assist Cadets in developing the skills to negotiate the myriad challenges and perform at their best during Cadet Summer Training, the Army embedded Master Resilience Trainers- Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) from its R2 Performance Centers with each Cadet company.

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Summer ARD Webinars Focused on Relationships with Ourselves, Others

09/03/2021
“Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have,” according to Jennifer Keitt from Atlanta’s Keitt Institute. Explaining that having positive connections with ourselves shapes our relationships with others, Keitt kicked off a summer of webinars from the Army Resilience Directorate focusing on relationships, consent, and ethical character. June’s presentation included the opportunity for participants to take a pre-webinar character assessment and obtain a workbook for use during and after the webinar. Keitt discussed the importance of understanding individual character strengths, breaking them down into ‘buckets,’ explaining that no two people are the same, and that often, the differences complement each other. Understanding this concept can help create, navigate, and maintain positive relationships with ourselves and others.

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Understanding the Relationship Between Physical Health and Mental Wellness

09/03/2021
Remember that time you nearly trained to exhaustion and thought to yourself, “I can’t go on. I can’t finish.”? Or maybe even long after an injury recovery you psyched yourself out from doing something for fear that you would injure yourself again? The mind and body work in tandem usually with the mind leading the body. What you think you can or can’t do will determine how good or how bad your body will respond and or perform.

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People Come First in Suicide Prevention

09/02/2021
In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, Fort Hood’s Suicide Prevention Program hosted a proclamation signing by Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general. “It’s very refreshing to see that III Corps and the Army as a whole is reprioritizing actually getting to know the people at their core. It’s very important that we learn to slow down,” said Jannan Melendez, Fort Hood’s Suicide Prevention Program manager.

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