Stuttgart holds suicide stand down

As part of an Army-wide initiative, service members and civilian employees from across the Stuttgart military community participated in a Suicide Prevention Stand-Down Day Sept. 20, while U.S. Africa Command held its stand down Sept. 27.

The stand downs were meant to familiarize all members of the community with the risk reduction, health promotion, suicide prevention and comprehensive Soldier and family fitness resources available within the garrison.

“The theme for the garrison’s stand down was “Stuttgart Cares.” Activities focused on well-being, resilience and relationship building, while service providers from Army Community Service, Stuttgart Warrior Pride Challenge and Behavioral Health held an information fair at the Panzer Exchange.

In chaplain-led suicide prevention awareness training, the emphasis was on connecting with and knowing one’s co-workers, and reaching out to help them when necessary.

It starts with caring and creating a climate of trust. “We may not be able to read peoples’ minds and know what is bothering them, but we can be aware of the support programs available, and encourage them to seek help if they need it,” said Garrison Commander Col. John Stack, as he discussed the stand down in a garrison employee town hall meeting Sept. 21. “It’s the right thing to do.”