Teamwork key to preventing Soldier suicides
Staff Sgt. Miguel Sierra vividly recalls himself and his staff handling logistical matters in the aftermath of a sailor committing suicide.

As a behavioral specialist and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Army Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Sierra said this experience impressed upon him the importance of teamwork and the need for Soldiers to maintain awareness of signs of distress among their fellow Soldiers.

Sierra recalls that just nine years ago, Soldiers would receive "after the fact training," meaning that units provided suicide education only following a suicide. 

"When that happened enough times, people realized the issue was more serious than it was," he said. "Now, commanders and NCOs are getting the word out about suicide prevention. They're being more proactive and less reactive.

These days, commanders are more respectful of the advice of psychologists, psychiatrists and other health professionals who are trained to identify suicide risk factors and conditions that can serve as precursors to suicide like traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
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