World Suicide Prevention Day
A letter from Lieutenant General Christopher Tickel CBE, Deputy Chief of the General Staff
Suicide is a tough topic, but I want you to know three things;
1. You’re not on your own, there’s always help available. Your friends and colleagues, padre, unit welfare team, doctor and mental health services can all provide support. There isn’t a wrong way to start the conversation, just please take that first step.
- The Army Welfare Service is available on 01904 882053, Monday to Friday 08:30-16:00
- You can call the Samaritans anytime on 116 123 or email Jo@samaritans.org
- You can join Togetherall, a 24/7, safe and anonymous community where you can talk with people, under the guidance of trained professionals.
2. Suicide Prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Your friends, your family, your chain of command and the entire Army community have got your back. There are ways we can make this conversation easier for you: by sharing a brew; by checking how you are and trying to understand your situation.
But most importantly, we will listen to you without judgement.
3. The Army takes this seriously. It’s the duty of Army leaders at all levels to care for your wellbeing. We know education is key. We already provide mental resilience and fitness training through our OPSMART programme. We’re working with King’s College London on research into better military mental health and we continue to work with a range of other organisations that provide mental health support to soldiers.
But we must go further.
I want to build a 'culture of trust' where you feel comfortable talking to your chain of command, without fearing it will impact negatively on your career. Together we can remove any stigma or fear about coming forward with mental health concerns.
Remember, no matter how tough it feels, there’s always another option. And we’ll help you find it.
Lieutenant General CL Tickel CBE
Deputy Chief of the General Staff