The Defense Department is currently providing two online courses that offer assistance and direction to those who have been affected by suicide.
According to Lisa Valentine, program manager for the casualty, mortuary affairs, and military funeral honors office of Military OneSource, “the first course is for everyone, but particularly for those most directly touched. The course, “After a Suicide,” is about 45 minutes long and can be accessed here.
She added that “in the aftermath of a suicide, you may experience a wide range of complex emotions and may need to learn new ways of caring for yourself and others.” The course covers communication techniques, ways to connect or stay connected to a support system, and reminders for how to maintain physical and mental health during this difficult time.
‘The impact of a suicide death is felt widely” ,said Valentine. “Those who have witnessed a suicide death are not immune to the effects of the event.”
It has been found that each suicide death has an average impact on 135 other people.
“We would highly recommend that you attend this course if you are a member of the military and you lost a fellow soldier to suicide. It’s quite useful”, She said.
There is a second, approximately two-hour long session for service providers called “After a Suicide – Walking Through Providing Support.” It is located here.
“Military commanders and supervisors at all levels, in addition to chaplains and family support staff, would tremendously benefit from completing this training,” she said.
“This course gives us insight into the complex experiences and emotions that someone who has lost a loved one to suicide may face, including survivor guilt, and offers self-care suggestions.”
According to Andrew Moon, the acting director for research, evaluation, and data/surveillance at the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, “service providers are not exempt from the impact of a death by suicide.”
This course will assist you in developing a better understanding of the complex nature of suicide and in building relationships with others who have experienced the loss of a loved one. It also provides measures to lessen the severe effects of a suicide dying, “added he.
“Data tells us that suicide rates are rising across the country, and individuals in the military and military community are not immune to those trends,” he said.
Despite these patterns and reminders, suicide is an increasing public health concern. He added, “The impact that these deaths have on suicide loss survivors still isn’t enough of a focus.”
According to research, those who have attempted suicide are more likely to develop anxiety-related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, difficult mourning, depression, and suicide..