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November 16, 2018, 04:21:39 AM
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Mental health resources
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Hawk200
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,627

« on: October 14, 2018, 07:01:09 PM »

Today, we had a very long meeting concerning resilience. NJ Guard lost five people in the last thirty days, two were suicides.

There's plenty of resources out there. Some people were probably unaware of them.

Some people just didn't know what to do if they're faced with an individual that is considering suicide.

What do we have to help people in crisis? Obviously, we're not military with the resources available.

If we have a member facing a crisis, what can we do? Gotta be something.
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Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,934

« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 11:03:14 AM »

Yeah, the Air National Guard has lost 13 so far to suicide in 2018. It's a mess.

Each drill weekend we have to deal with one or two (sometimes more) airmen who show up wanting to talk to someone. It's not an epidemic, but sometimes I wonder what's in the water.

I have experienced several suicides in my life, mostly in the military, but several have been CAP members; one I was very close to, and while they all hurt, that one was extra painful to me. I've been in CAP for 32 years, and have had countless chats with members who sought my counsel, if for no other reason, because I happened to be there and was willing to listen. I don't have a lot of answers, but I've been around a while and have dealt with lots of things in life that may qualify me in some way to help. Formally, I think we would handle it no different than if a friend sought help, point them in the right direction. If it's a cadet, make sure you're communicating with their parents. If it's a senior member, maybe reach out to their family if you're comfortable with doing that. Or, a CAP chaplain if one is around. Following a deployment many years ago, our CAP chaplain, who was a retired Army chaplain, reached out to me and opened up the dialogue because he had the experience. I was okay, but he wanted to check, and I appreciated that.
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francisderosa16
Member

Posts: 72

« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 05:30:08 PM »

First thing, call 911, 2nd, try to talk them out of it until the police arrive, 3rd explain to police about a suicide risk. Make sure you assure them they are going to be okay.

WARNING: Suicide is a BIG deal, always notify your chain of command about anybody being a harm to their self and others!

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CFToaster
Recruit

Posts: 13
Unit: SER-FL-116

« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 06:35:36 PM »

First thing, call 911, 2nd, try to talk them out of it until the police arrive, 3rd explain to police about a suicide risk.

That's certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach to every encounter with a suicidal person. I can see getting police and EMS involved if the person has a loaded firearm or has already taken steps to end their life (ingesting poisons, etc).

A broader approach is outlined in the CAP October Down Day curriculum, initialized as, "ACE"

A - Ask [the person] if they're thinking about killing themselves
C - Care for the person - Listen to their answer. Show understanding. Remain Calm. Don't Judge. Safely [emphasis mine] remove things they can harm themselves with if you can.
E - Escort the person to someone that can help. Never leave [the person] alone. Get help from a healthcare professional, chaplain, or other trusted person.
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CFToaster
Recruit

Posts: 13
Unit: SER-FL-116

« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 06:42:44 PM »

Some additional resources for suicide prevention include:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TTY 800-799-4889)

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention Text Crisis Line: 741741

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (Text 66746)

In some metropolitan areas 2-1-1 has crisis counselors available either by phone or in person.

Two commercial services that I also recommend are Betterhelp.com and Talkspace.com. Both connect you to licensed therapists providing  text-base services for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

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francisderosa16
Member

Posts: 72

« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 08:29:50 PM »

Thank you,
That is helpful, I will keep it mind. However, I was told in school just call 911, but that's just me.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,529

« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 11:14:55 AM »

Thank you,
That is helpful, I will keep it mind. However, I was told in school just call 911, but that's just me.

That's the most immediate action that can be taken if you believe life is in immediate danger.

If someone has a weapon, particularly a firearm, you would want to call 911. There are two aspects to that:
- They may hurt themselves (and they may still do so if police or paramedics show up)
- You have to make sure they don't intend to hurt anyone else

Keep in mind that in suicide situations, most people are looking for a way out of their problems and they're struggling to find that way out---ending their life is a quick option that removes their pain and responsibilities (and it may not be easy for them; that's a tough decision for people to make).

But you need to also keep in mind that in some situations, they may not decide to go alone. There are a number of real-world examples where people have committed suicide after harming their kids or friends. So the immediate response may change depending on who is at risk. If a person indicates potentially hurting someone else, you need to get those individuals to safety; law enforcement assistance should be called in that case.

Personal story:
I have a buddy who I met just through online gaming when I was a teenager. He lives in the UK; never met face-to-face obviously. Over time, we chatted almost daily and became pretty good friends despite the giant lake between us. I knew he had some personality conflicts that had some psychiatric diagnoses along with them. We always talked about meeting up in person (which I've met some people off CAP Talk as well; common interest right?). He messaged me on Facebook one day and sent me a big long "Goodbye" message. We talked for maybe a half-hour through messaging. He was adamant that this was it; he made up his mind. At the time, I figured there was nobody I could call, at least nobody that would take it seriously given the circumstances of our friendship. I messaged his mom on Facebook. She called the local police to his apartment. He had taken a bunch of pills and needed some time in the emergency room. The anti-depressants he was on just weren't doing their job. But I got a big long Facebook message back from his mom and periodic updates until he was given access to technology again. We ended up meeting when he took a trip to the U.S. Just talked yesterday as a matter of fact.

The bottom line: Do something. There are recommended ways to help. But ignoring it will never help. If you have to call 911 because that's what you've got available, go for it. They'll send someone to the house, and the dispatcher can talk to them on the phone. But do something.
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CFToaster
Recruit

Posts: 13
Unit: SER-FL-116

« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 01:28:07 PM »

The bottom line: Do something. There are recommended ways to help. But ignoring it will never help.

100% this.
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francisderosa16
Member

Posts: 72

« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 05:28:18 PM »

I agree with your statement. Thank you for making it clear. Thanx! I will use this strategy you told me, [hopefully I'll never encounter this situation though]. Thank you for your help!
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Hawk200
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,627

« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 11:26:33 AM »

Plenty of good information, thank you to all that posted.

I might pursue the CISM training, and I'm also thinking on doing the resiliency training for the Army. I think  both would be useful additions to the toolbox.

I'm hoping that I would never need to use the training, but if I need to I'll have it.
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ColonelJack
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,369
Unit: SER-GA-153

« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2018, 07:52:08 AM »

Plenty of good information, thank you to all that posted.

I might pursue the CISM training, and I'm also thinking on doing the resiliency training for the Army. I think  both would be useful additions to the toolbox.

I'm hoping that I would never need to use the training, but if I need to I'll have it.

A very wise man (my father, in fact) once told me:  "It's better to have it, and not need it; than to need it, and not have it."

Words to live by.

Jack
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Jack Bagley, Ed. D.
Lt. Col., Civil Air Patrol
Gill Robb Wilson Award No. 1366, 29 Nov 1991
Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Mental health resources
 


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