Suicide Prevention

Chaplains who are part of the Army’s first line of defense against suicide say they need more training in how to prevent soldiers from killing themselves, according to a Rand Corporation survey published online on April 7. Nearly all the chaplains and chaplain assistants surveyed said they have dealt with suicidal soldiers. Because of confidentiality, roughly half said they would be reluctant to alert someone in the chain of command about the soldier, and roughly a third said they would not call a crisis hotline. Forty-four percent of chaplains and 57 percent of chaplain assistants said they need training in suicide prevention treatment, the survey found. “In this circumstance, where people are going to them and using [them] like a behavioral health provider, let’s make sure they have a basic amount of competency,” said Rajeev Ramchand, lead author of the study.

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