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2016 Social Work Month Multimedia Contest: Louisiana National Guard Suicide Prevention

During National Social Work Month in March the National Association of Social Workers asked social workers to use media, including photos, videos, writings and spoken word, to express how they live up to this year’s theme “Forging Solutions Out of Challenges.”

Here is a photo and essay entry from Angela Huval, MSW, LCSW about an initiative from the Louisiana National Guard on suicide prevention:

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It is been an ongoing challenge to help reduce the suicide rate in the military.

It has been especially challenging for our National Guardsmen.

In an effort to help combat suicides in Louisiana, I have provided many Resilience Trainings and Suicide Prevention briefs to keep our servicemen and women informed about the many resources available to them.

We are utilizing many programs that the US Army has implemented to help decrease military suicide.

I wanted to share how the Louisiana National Guard has helped to prevent Suicide.

During Suicide Prevention Month in 2015, We held a “stand down” during our Inactive Duty Training weekend.

This means for an allotted period of time, our focus is educating our soldiers about the signs of suicide, teaching them about resiliency, and encouraging “Battle Buddy to Battle Buddy” phone calls. I have enclosed a few pictures of our event. The pictures indicate soldiers making a pledge to reach out for help when they are feeling or thinking of suicide.

We are utilizing many programs that the US Army has implemented to help decrease military suicide.

In the role of a social worker, I provide crisis intervention when needed, offer individual and family counseling, assist with finding resources for our homeless veterans and non-veterans, link soldiers to VA services and community resources.

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