EL PASO, Texas - In El Paso
Emergence Health Network (EHN) provides 24-hour telephone counseling and crisis intervention for individuals experiencing emotional distress or severe mental health crises. The Crisis Line is manned by master's level qualified mental health professionals and backed up by on-call professionals. The Crisis Line also serves as the after-hours backup for the Sexual Assault Outreach Program, the Alzheimer's Identification Program, and the Army Community Services Program. For individuals seeking face-to-face counseling and crisis intervention, we provide intervention, crisis counseling and support and referral for long-term treatment. A psychiatrist is available if immediate medication or psychiatric interventions is needed (915)779-1800.
Fort Bliss, military personnel, and their families
From 1st Armored Division/Fort Bliss' Facebook page Jan. 2013 post:
The Department of Defense strongly encourages its servicemembers and their families to seek help when they have reached the point of contemplating suicide and will provide immediate assistance to those in need and ask for help themselves or are referred by their friends, family members, or fellow Soldiers. There was a record high 349 active-duty suicides in 2012, which is 120 more then were lost to combat last year. These kinds of numbers cannot be ignored and the military has hired more behavioral health-care providers and embarked on a long-term study of mental health for uniformed personnel. Within the Military there are several different resources and services available inside and outside the regular chain of command. While some of these resources are located here on post there are others that operate outside the boundaries of Fort Bliss but are easily accessible.
The quickest assistance you can get is sometimes as close as the person next to you. Discussing your problems or issues with a trusted fellow Soldier, most of whom have received mandatory suicide intervention training, and just having a conversation with them can often be the first step in getting additional help. Sometimes just talking about your problems with a friend will make the problems seem more bearable and decrease the stress of keeping these issues to yourself.
Seeking the advice or assistance of the Chaplain's office is another service available to you and in most cases do not involve your chain of command, the chain of command is, however, obligated to be notified if the Chaplain's office feels there is a credible threat to the your well-being or others. The on post Family Life Chaplain's office is specifically trained to offer counseling services and help with family issues and works towards the prevention, education, intervention, and treatment of domestic violence and child abuse.
The most active and largest resource available to assist you is Military OneSource, (http://www.militaryonesource.mil/), a free service provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members, and their families.
Military OneSource has helpful resources on lots of topics related to military life. Services are available 24 hours a day seven days a week. In addition to the website, Military OneSource offers a call center staffed by counselors that possess a master's or doctorate degree in a mental health field. Military OneSource is confidential and is committed not to release your information. However, like the Chaplain's office their policies do not cover issues of abuse or threats to harm yourself or others. Online support is also available for any number of issues and can be contacted at any time for any reason. Military OneSource's phone number is (800) 342-9647; a crisis line is also available at (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Available also is The Real Warriors Campaign (http://www.realwarriors.net/), a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage help-seeking behavior among servicemembers. The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), which is part of the Military Health System, was established in November 2007 to integrate knowledge, and identify and evaluate practices and standards for the treatment of psychological health and traumatic brain injuries within the Defense Department. DCoE began their Real Warriors Campaign in 2009 as an integral part of the Defense Department's overall effort to encourage military members and their families to seek help and support for psychological concerns.
The campaign includes several different approaches to help you including print materials, media outreach, an interactive website, and social media outlets. The various materials feature stories of others who reached out for support or care with successful outcomes that did not impede their careers while in the military or after they had retired.
The Real Warriors Campaign encourages you to use their DCoE Outreach Center, their own 24/7 call center that also provides confidential answers and tips on dealing with not only psychological health concerns but with problems resulting from traumatic brain injuries. The Outreach Center can be reached by calling 866-966-1020, or by connecting through live chat via their website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an effort to improve readiness through the development and enhancement of the Army's official Suicide Prevention Program, the U.S. Army's Human Resources Policy Directorate (http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp) has provided information on suicide prevention as well. These policies are designed to provide you and your leaders information with the goal of minimizing suicidal behavior. Although the Army Suicide Prevention Office is not a crisis center and does not provide counseling services for you to utilize it does provide videos, pamphlet downloads, DoD Policy information, and Commander's Toolkits designed to assist leaders at all levels in implementing their Suicide Prevention Programs.
The Veterans Crisis Line (http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/), launched in 2007, is a toll-free, confidential resource that connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Veterans Affairs responders. Since it began, the crisis line has answered more than 650,000 calls and made more than 23,000 life-saving rescues. Veterans and their loved ones, even if they are not registered with the VA, can call 1-800-273-8255 to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, a text message service is also available by sending a text message to 838255.
In 2009 the VA added an anonymous online chat that has since helped more than 65,000 people and is available at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net. The professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances—from Veterans coping with mental health issues that were never addressed to recent Veterans struggling with relationships or the transitions back to civilian life.
Outside of the military, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1987 by a number of leading experts on suicide, business and community leaders, and survivors of suicide, AFSP strives to reach out to those suffering with mental disorders and others impacted by suicide.
AFSP plays an active role in seeking to reduce suicide rates through initiating and participating in projects to develop, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to suicide prevention. In its suicide prevention projects, AFSP is working with many other individuals, organizations and institutions throughout the United States and abroad in finding new and better ways to prevent suicide. A key goal of each AFSP project is to disseminate information about what has been learned about suicide through articles and other media. Through their website; http://www.afsp.org/, individuals can gather information on their past and recent projects that include interactive screening programs and other resources aimed at reducing suicide within different groups across the world.
(KVIA Note: For more information on any of Emergence Health Network''s Military Outreach Servcies, please contact Kellie Burns, Military Liaison at (915)203-3981 or email
Read: June 2013 NPR story on Fort Bliss dealing with suicides and trying to prevent them - article August 31, 2012