AZ Guard culminates Suicide Prevention Month with Ruck for Life march

AZ Guard culminates Suicide Prevention Month with Ruck for Life march

Over 200 members of Arizona’s Army and Air National Guard participated in Ruck for Life – an event highlighting suicide prevention – at Papago Park Military Reservation here Sept. 30. (National Guard Photo by Spc. Wes Parrell)

PHOENIX – Over 200 members of Arizona’s Army and Air National Guard participated in Ruck for Life – an event highlighting suicide prevention – at Papago Park Military Reservation here Sept. 30.

During the ruck march Soldiers and Airmen carried backpacks containing 35 pounds of canned food each through a three mile course. At the end of the march the food was donated to Arizona Family Programs.

“This event displayed the unity of the Arizona National Guard’s efforts to end suicide within our ranks,” said Army Staff Sgt. Erika Furgal. “We are one giant family and anytime a Soldier or Airman is in need they know that we will be here to help them.”

The Arizona National Guard’s goal is to provide information, motivation and support to help members overcome challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their families and their units.

Aside from the traditional Ask, Care, Escort, or ACE program, the Army and Air National Guard teamed up with a new and modern system called Ready54.

Ready54 can be accessed on line at ready54.org or on a new downloadable app to your mobile device.  Once you have accessed the site the system can narrow down resources to your specific location to provide immediate assistance.

“Incorporating Families and all Members of the Arizona National Guard together, with the resources they need is the key to our suicide prevention efforts,” said Furgal. “You cannot plan when you or someone you know may need assistance, but we want you to know where to find that help if the need arises.”

There are warning signs and risk factors to look for that will help identify if someone needs help. These include a person talking about the act of suicide or harming one’s self, withdraw from friends or activities, experiencing financial difficulties or loss of job, relationship problems with a significant other, or substance abuse.

The message of the Arizona National Guard is simple, if you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide get help.  One phone call could save a life.

If you or someone you know needs help contact any of the following resources:

Suicide ideation or a suicide attempt is a medical emergency and care should be sought immediately—call 911.

 

Service members or their families in crisis should seek help immediately by contacting the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1 for military) for 24/7 crisis support.

 

The crisis line also provides an online chat at www.militarycrisisline.net and text service

(838255).

 

Service members or their families who would just like to talk to someone who has shared similar experiences should contact Vets4Warriors. They will be linked to a peer who is trained to assist them in overcoming their obstacles. Call 855-838-8255; email

[email protected]; or chat online atwww.vets4warriors.com.

Airmen can seek help at wingmanproject.org and can also download the wingman project app to their mobile device.

For Arizona National Guard resources, training or other assistance contact the Soldier Support Division at (602) 267-2114 or (602) 267-2117.

Contact the Arizona National Guard Director of Psychological Heath at (602) 267-2797.