Across the nation and our Army, September is observed as National Suicide Prevention Month. The theme for this years observance is “A Healthy Force is a Ready Force”. The Army Suicide Prevention Program focuses on minimizing suicidal behavior by training Soldiers, leaders, Department of the Army civilians and family members to recognize signs of suicidal behavior, intervention strategies and how to refer individuals for care.
During Army Suicide Prevention Month, agencies and organizations throughout the Army will execute appropriate educational activities to observe Suicide Prevention Month. The Pentagon and the National Capitol Region kicked off Suicide Prevention week with a health fair Sept. 12- 13. The health fair included representatives from various government and non-government agencies to showcase Health Promotion Risk Reduction Suicide Prevention Program (HPRRSP) and Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) resources.
Former NFL player Herschel Walker scored a “touchdown” with his speech at the opening ceremony of the health fair. Suffering from dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder, Walker reemphasized the Army’s efforts to eradicate suicide from its ranks by telling the story about how he proved himself a real “tough guy” by breaking through the stigma associated with asking for help. He discussed the many challenges he had to overcome since he was a child and that it wasn’t until after his record-breaking years at the University of Georgia and in the NFL that he realized there was something wrong.
“Admitting that I had a problem was the best thing that happened to me,” said Walker to over 150 Soldiers, Civilians and special guests at the event.