General Battles Military Suicides

Another Army-wide program recently rolled out is Warrior Venture Quest. Started in September 2008, the program gives soldiers the opportunity to participate in high-adventure events, such as white water rafting or mountain climbing. Counselors accompany the soldiers and coach them on how to bring themselves back down once their adrenaline reaches levels similar to those in the combat theater. It's a program that soldiers can use once they've returned from war.

"If they are on their own, their apartment or where they live off-post, and they feel that anxiety coming, they'll have a skill to help them come back down off that adrenaline rush," Graham said.

Programs are also in place to increase awareness of depression and suicide prevention. One of these programs "Ask, Care, Escort" (A.C.E) encourages soldiers to listen and ask other soldiers about their mental state. If a soldier informs another of thoughts about taking their life by suicide or hurting someone else, that soldier should be escorted to the hospital to seek help. The Army is seeing that happen repeatedly.

Another program recently launched at Ft. Carson is the mobile behavioral health team comprised of 14 behavioral health providers and staff members.

"We actually now have soldiers trained in every company in the brigade as behavioral health advocates, someone whose job it is to kind of have a finger on the pulse of the unit and see who might be at risk, who might need to talk to someone like myself," Cpt. Katie Kopp told ABC News.

As an Army psychologist, Kopp determines system-wide how the Army can decrease risk factors and increase protective factors. The Army is training soldiers to gain these skills as well.

These programs illustrate the Army's push for soldiers to seek help for mental health problems, an attitude that differs considerably from ones held just two years ago.

"As soldiers, it's in our creed -- we're physically and mentally tough," Kopp said. "So, particularly among the war-fighting soldiers, their job is to be strong. And so sometimes, it can be difficult for some people to come in and talk to someone like myself."

The Army has increased its efforts to remove the stigma attached to mental health problems in its ranks. Graham thinks the stigma has spread nationwide and believes its erasure can be accomplished, in part, "by being very open and talking about it more and more and letting soldiers know it's a sign of strength, not weakness, to come forward and ask for help."

As new soldiers come into a more accepting culture of mental health treatment, they are beginning to feel more comfortable seeking out help, Kopp believes.

Getting Help and Saving Lives

The Army is serious about its mission to save lives and is constantly testing new programs or making changes to pre-existing ones.

Recently, the Army held a stand-down for suicide prevention, the first of its kind, in which Army members were required to spend a minimum of four hours in a suicide prevention program.

Also, soldiers are shown various interactive videos, such as "Beyond the Front" and "Shoulder to Shoulder," that highlight Army soldiers who are depressed or suicidal. The Army is seeing the impact of these videos firsthand.

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