Monday, February 27, 2017

Fort Hood Tries Something New Against Suicides...Talking and Listening

Soldiers take fresh approach in discussing feelings that could lead to suicide
Killeen Daily Herald
Capt. Kevin Sandell
504 Military Intelligence Brigade
February 27, 2017
Maj. Chuck Lowman, the 504th’s brigade chaplain, said the initial planning process brought together representatives from the Army’s Family Advocacy Program, Army Community Services, the Fort Hood Suicide Prevention Office, the Behavioral Health Department at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and unit chaplains to discuss the event. He said the group consensus was “to get at the heart of what would create such despair within a person.
Col. Laura Knapp, far right, commander of the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Hood, discusses the concepts of vulnerability and shame with soldiers and leaders Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at the Resiliency Leaders Development Forum at the West Fort Hood gym. The event was designed to get soldiers discussing factors towards suicide, and how to leverage camaraderie and team-spirit to defeat suicide.
FORT HOOD — Soldiers in military intelligence units on post recently took a fresh approach to talking openly about shame, vulnerability and similar feelings, including some that are known to lead to suicide.

The Feb. 16 event, known as resiliency training in the Army, touched on weighty concepts not often seen in traditional Army training, but allowed soldiers to open a dialogue about difficult but universal emotions.

Modeled after the brigade’s internal Leaders Professional Development program on the book, “Daring Greatly,” by Dr. Brene Brown, the forum took soldiers out of their comfort zones to discuss perceptions about vulnerability and shame. Both factors are leading contributors to behavioral health concerns, including suicide.

During the forum’s opening comments, Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Hipsley, the highest-ranking enlisted soldier for Fort Hood’s 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, said the purpose of the day was to get people talking about an uncomfortable topic in an unfamiliar setting. In the end, however, he said the experience would benefit soldiers and their units.
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