DCoE Strategic Communications on January 12, 2010
Many voices on psychological health and suicide prevention are being shared at the joint DoD-VA Suicide Prevention Conference that is underway until Thursday – ranging from the warrior, to the family member, to the spiritual advisor, to the health-care provider, to the line leader. Become part of the dialogue. Please share your thoughts, questions and ideas with us.
Army Staff Sgt. Megan Krause gets a hug of encouragement after her speech about her battle with PTSD. Krause spoke during the DoD-VA sponsored 2010 Suicide Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C., Jan. 11. DoD photo by Elaine Wilson.
“Throughout my years and service in uniform, suicides were one of the most frustrating leadership challenges I faced,” VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told audiences in his keynote address. “We must build and maintain a strong support system, one in which everyone has a role, where we collectively assume ownership of the problem.”
Staff Sgt. Megan Krause, who is sharing her road to recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder with DCoE’s Real Warriors Campaign spoke of finding “…myself face down in the mud pit, in the middle of a pigpen in State College, Pa., running from the insurgents that I thought were chasing me…I might not have been having suicidal ideations, but I was well on my way to killing myself.”
“We know that stigma can kill, compassion can heal, words can work, treatment can save and help is hope,” DCoE Director Brig. Gen. Sutton told audiences. “We can tool up here this week, go home and apply these lessons and ask ourselves every day: Is what my team and I are doing today action? Is our effort worthy of the service and sacrifice of those who we are so privileged to serve? “
Please stay tuned for more posts on this conference. Let us know what you think.