Thursday, August 26, 2010

DOD Task Force for the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces

Dear Friends,

The Dept of Defense Task Force for the Prevention of Suicide by Members of the Armed Forces has completed a one year study and released their report two days ago. I haven't had time to completely study the report but it appears my April 12th testimony and supporting documents influenced their 'Findings and Recommendations.' There were other people beside myself who registered complaints about unit watch with the Task Force.

Please note recommendations, 12, 22 and 55 in the Executive Summary. These are recommendations I have fought for ever since my son died. In the final report more detail about Recommendation 12 is found on page 59, Recommendation 22 on pages 66-67 and Recommendation 55 on pages 89-90. Recommendation 55 refutes the promotion of unit watch as acceptable alternate care that I've run into so often.

The complete 233 page final report is accessible as a pdf. file,

I must commend the Task Force for the excellent job they did. Their report lays out solid guidelines that, if followed, will reduce military suicide. It exceeds my personal concerns and based on my research and experience of working with many bereaved families, the "postvention" recommendations in dealing with surviving family members of suicide are excellent! This report is far superior to the HP/RR/SP Report 2010 the Army released 29 July which I feel provides little to reduce suicide.

Sunday is the tenth year anniversary of Nolan's death and it's still is difficult to accept what happened to him.

Singe (Richard Stites)

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