A solider died as a result of suicide Jan. 19 on Fort Leavenworth.
No details have been made available by officials at the Army installation. The incident is under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Command, according to Jeff Wingo, public affairs officer at the U.S. Army Garrison.
Kevin Wharton, a suicide prevention program manager on Fort Leavenworth, said it was the first suicide on the fort since 2013.
Estimates are that 20 military veterans die each day as a result of suicide.
“Soldiers have the same problems other people do,” Wharton said.
But officials at Fort Leavenworth say that numerous suicide prevention resources are made available to help soldiers and their families.
Wharton said the Army provides extensive evidence-based training about suicide prevention.
He said a publication known as the “Gold Book” provides suicide prevention educators with “a road map of how we train.”
The 2012 Department of the Army report covers how critical it is to have strategies for early intervention of high risk behavior and ways to respond.
Wharton said everyone on Fort Leavenworth is required to complete one hour of suicide prevention training each year.
He said a more extensive four-hour training session deals with intervention skills training, and there is a two-day “gatekeeper training” workshop available.
Wharton said the trend is for more holistic training about suicide prevention. He said training now is more directed to overall wellness to include financial, spiritual, physical health, nutrition and personal relationships with a spouse or partner.
Officials at Fort Leavenworth make available and distribute a wide assortment of printed materials about suicide prevention.
The U.S. Army Public Health Command has published a pamphlet titled “A Leader’s Guide To Suicide Prevention.”
The pamphlet includes suggestions on what to do, what to avoid and what to look for if someone is having suicidal tendencies.
“Effective suicide prevention requires everyone in the unit to be aware of the risk factors for suicide and know how to respond,” according to the pamphlet. “Commanders, NCOs and supervisors must lead the way.”
Wharton said anonymous surveys are conducted periodically on the fort to gauge the effectiveness of the suicide prevention programs.
“It’s hard to measure prevention,” he said. “But the proof is in the pudding.”