FORT HOOD, Texas — Behavioral health providers across Fort Hood have reported a “significant increase” in their ability to to fight the complex problem of soldier suicide, after learning about what many are calling “cutting edge tools” during the four hours of “Ask, Care, Escort (ACE)” training yesterday.
“One soldier suicide is too many,” said Gen. Mark Milley of the highly-evolved suicide prevention model used at the soldier level. “We will therefore double-down on our efforts to ensure that every man and woman in both our uniformed and civilian Army workforce receives this vital training.”
Maj. Carl Young, a psychiatrist with Darnall Army Community Hospital, was among those vocally singing the ACE program’s praises after listening to an E-5 deliver the training by reading directly off a powerpoint slide deck for the full four hours to universal acclaim.
“I spent four years obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, four years in medical school, and four years in psychiatry residency training at Tripler Army Medical Center, but I never felt adequately prepared to address the issue of suicide,” said Young. “But after spending four hours at mandatory ACE training, it finally clicked for me.”
Young likened the training to a light bulb coming on over his head.
“All I needed to be doing all along was to ask soldiers about suicide, care for them, and then escort them to myself,” added Young. “The ACE model is so brilliant in its simplicity. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before.”
Young was not the only behavioral health provider to lavish praise on the training.
“I’m glad we were ordered to close all of Fort Hood’s behavioral health clinics for the afternoon so that 100 percent of our department’s providers and staff could attend this mandatory face-to-face training,” said Capt. Elizabeth Rorschach, a psychologist who works in one of Fort Hood’s embedded behavioral health clinics.
“To think, I could have wasted my afternoon seeing patients, flapping in the wind without any theoretical framework from which to help them,” said Rorschach.
“For making the most efficient use of our limited time and resources, I can only say: thank you, Army.”