Awareness and Empathy: Daegu ‘Connects to Protect’ During Suicide Prevention Month | Article

CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea – U.S. Army Daegu Garrison hosted two Resilience Day events in September as part of Suicide Prevention Month initiatives focused on raising awareness within the community.

Held at Camp Walker on September 8 and Camp Carroll on September 27, the open house-style events brought community members face-to-face with local resource providers, including representatives from the Office of Church Service and the Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program.




Soldiers interact with a resource provider during a Resilience Day event at Camp Walker, Republic of Korea, Sept. 8, 2022. U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Drug Abuse Program Team organized the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people navigate adversity and reach out to others who are having suicidal thoughts.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Mathew Gleeson)

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“People need to know about resources in order to use them, so we’re bringing all of these resource providers to one place with tabletop displays. You can browse in 10-15 minutes and meet a resource provider you don’t know about. maybe not and speak for them,” said Malcolm Wolfe, Jr., director of the suicide prevention program.

“You might need this resource. If not, you might be able to refer this resource to a friend, family member, or someone else.”


Malcolm Wolfe, Jr., suicide prevention program manager, explains the importance of reaching out to others during a Resilience Day event at Camp Carroll, Republic of Korea, Sept. 27, 2022. The Army Substance Abuse Program team organized the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people through adversity and help with suicide prevention.



Malcolm Wolfe, Jr., suicide prevention program manager, explains the importance of reaching out to others during a Resilience Day event at Camp Carroll, Republic of Korea, Sept. 27, 2022. The Army Substance Abuse Program team organized the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people through adversity and help with suicide prevention.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Mathew Gleeson)

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“It’s an opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and network – it’s all about connectivity.”

The Department of Defense has asked DoD leaders, military members, military families, and DoD civilians to connect with each other and resources to prevent suicide.

USAG Daegu Commander Col. Brian P. Schoellhorn and USAG Daegu Sgt. Major Jonathon J. Blue signed pledges to intervene if they noticed suicidal risk behavior in others. They also discussed the importance of individual outreach with soldiers and civilians.

“I think for a lot of us when something knocks you out in life, the thought of suicide is low on the list of coping mechanisms. It bothers me that this isn’t the case for a lot of young people. That for some, the thought of getting up is harder than not getting up at all,” Schoellhorn said.


U.S. Army Daegu Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Schoellhorn discusses the role of empathy in suicide prevention during a Resilience Day event at Camp Walker, Republic of Korea , September 8, 2022. The Army Substance Abuse Program team hosted the event to educate the community about resources available to help people through adversity and connect with others who have suicidal thoughts.



U.S. Army Daegu Garrison Commander Col. Brian P. Schoellhorn discusses the role of empathy in suicide prevention during a Resilience Day event at Camp Walker, Republic of Korea , September 8, 2022. The Army Substance Abuse Program team hosted the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people through adversity and reach out to others who have suicidal thoughts.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Mathew Gleeson)

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“We need to be more empathetic. We need to acknowledge what’s going on with someone and say ‘Hey, are you okay?’ That’s what our resource providers do. That’s why events like this are great, because it’s a whole community approach. If you have something to do in your life, we have things that can help you.

Garrison leaders have also called on community members to intervene when they notice people struggling.

“You don’t need a doctor’s degree or a special certificate to recognize that people are going through something. What it takes is knowing that person, knowing what the risk factors are and then know what the signs are,” Blue said.

“Behavioral health specialists are useless if they are not used, and we will also be useless if we recognize the signs of suicide but do not intervene.”


U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Senior Enlisted Chief Command Sgt.  Maj. Jonathon J. Blue signs a pledge to step in when others need help during a Resilience Day event at Camp Walker, Republic of Korea, Sept. 8, 2022. The program team Army Addictions Services hosted the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people through adversity and to reach out to others who are having suicidal thoughts.



U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Senior Enlisted Chief Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathon J. Blue signs a pledge to step in when others need help during a Resilience Day event at Camp Walker, Republic of Korea, Sept. 8, 2022. The program team Army Addictions Services hosted the event to educate the community about the resources available to help people through adversity and to reach out to others who are having suicidal thoughts.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Mathew Gleeson)

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Although suicide prevention often means asking tough questions, Wolfe said intervention can be accomplished by anyone.

“We can intervene just by talking to someone, just starting a conversation. Show that you care. Because you really don’t care what I know until you know how much I care. . And if you know how much I care, maybe you start looking to the future and you don’t isolate yourself.”

In addition to Resilience Days, the USAG Daegu Army Drug Abuse Program team intensified community outreach efforts for suicide prevention in September with live AFN radio broadcasts, presentations on tables in restaurants and commissioners, as well as multiple training events.