(2) Appropriate intervention actions. Do not leave an individual with
suspected suicidal intentions alone at any time; he might kill himself. Notify your
immediate supervisor or NCOIC of possible need for intervention. The following actions
(a) If physical and psychosocial symptoms along with verbal and
behavioral warning signs are observed in the soldier, discuss the situation with the
NCOIC or with personnel in accordance with local directives. If the person seems to be
about to attempt suicide soon, contact professional medical personnel by emergency
call and proceed in accordance with local directives.
(b) You may accompany the individual to a referral agency or to a
consulting professional for assessment, or you may turn the individual over to the official
in charge of transportation arranged for by professional personnel.
As a medical specialist, you should become familiar with and knowledgeable
about potentially suicidal patients. Awareness of presuicidal symptoms and signs could
lead to intervention and prevention of suicide. Surely all of us experience times in our
lives when we simply cannot face another day. There are times when life just doesn't
seem worth the agony and pain it forces us to endure. Yet, however "appropriate" and
strong these feelings of utter hopelessness seem to be and the fleeting impulse to end it
all, most of us don't give in to the impulse. The most important response to any suicide
threat is to take it seriously--as if someone's life depended on your being concerned.