Fort Sill hosts summit on suicide - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Fort Sill hosts summit on suicide

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) -For the first time at Fort Sill, a suicide prevention summit was held for soldiers and members of their families.

Dozens of soldiers, Marines and off-post professionals, including police officers, gathered at Snow Hall to hear from suicide survivors and to discuss ways to enhance the military's current approach to prevention.

Mental health professionals who work on post have approximately 2,500 contacts each month who are contemplating suicide. For the more serious cases, they send three to five soldiers each week to a psychiatric hospital.

Suicide survivor and military spouse Tiffany Jackson, one of the speakers at the summit, says she made an attempt on her life when she was a teenager.

"My story as a military dependent took me to that place of being scared of the unknown, having the emptiness of moving off to college," Jackson said.

Supervisory social worker Mathew Kappel helps soldiers daily on post. He says it is virtually impossible to measure the success of suicide prevention programs.

"What we want to do is emphasize the success stories of the lives that we really do save, but you can't ever count although we do identify suicide as a horrible tragic thing that really warrants study and discussion,' Kappel said.

Kappel says the first line leaders are responsible for building connections with their soldiers and making sure they are mentally stable.

"When a soldier shows up to work you know who is normally light-hearted, who’s telling the jokes, who’s the one that's always serious so when there is a change if you don't have a relationship with your soldier you're not in a position to ask any more questions. Hey what's different? How come you're not the same old you," Kappel said.

Kappel says statistics show the suicide risk is highest for those who are from sergeant to sergeant major ranking, which are typically the 25- to 34-year-olds.

"They're responsible for making things happen within the unit all the way from the unit level up to brigade level. So yeah, they take on all that responsibility and stress," Kappel said.

More than 12 years since her suicide attempt, Jackson says she is still working to make her life and the lives of others better.

"What can I do to be accepted? To get rid of the loneliness, the emptiness so my point in the world is to find my purpose. Be a help to society and help others," Jackson said.

Kappel says the three signs soldiers should watch for in their battle buddy are depression, a type of stress, whether it be from work or something else, and the presence of drugs and alcohol.

Major General John Rossi, Fort Sill commanding general, says four out of the 10 deaths of soldiers during his approximately two years at Fort Sill have been suicides.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • One Hospitalized following 3-vehicle accident in Lawton

    One Hospitalized following 3-vehicle accident in Lawton

    Monday, March 27 2017 12:35 PM EDT2017-03-27 16:35:00 GMT

    Lawton Police officers responded to a 3-vehicle accident involving a maroon Ford F250, a blue GMC Sierra, and a black Chrysler 300 at SW 45th and Lee Blvd around 9:15 a.m. According to police, the GMC Sierra rear-ended the Ford F250 as it yielded for an oncoming ambulance. The Black Chrysler hit the GMC Sierra as it lost control after hitting the Ford F250. The driver of the GMC was transported to the hospital after becoming trapped inside his vehicle.

    Lawton Police officers responded to a 3-vehicle accident involving a maroon Ford F250, a blue GMC Sierra, and a black Chrysler 300 at SW 45th and Lee Blvd around 9:15 a.m. According to police, the GMC Sierra rear-ended the Ford F250 as it yielded for an oncoming ambulance. The Black Chrysler hit the GMC Sierra as it lost control after hitting the Ford F250. The driver of the GMC was transported to the hospital after becoming trapped inside his vehicle.

  • House intel chairman met source on White House grounds

    House intel chairman met source on White House grounds

    Monday, March 27 2017 12:22 PM EDT2017-03-27 16:22:49 GMT
    Monday, March 27 2017 12:22 PM EDT2017-03-27 16:22:49 GMT

    House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes' spokesman says the congressman met on the White House grounds with the source of the claim that communications involving President Donald Trump's associates were caught up...

    House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes' spokesman says the congressman met on the White House grounds with the source of the claim that communications involving President Donald Trump's associates were caught up in "incidental" surveillance.

  • Legislature mulls $34 million funding infusion for DHS

    Legislature mulls $34 million funding infusion for DHS

    Monday, March 27 2017 11:26 AM EDT2017-03-27 15:26:16 GMT

    The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill to immediately provide $34 million in funding to the Department of Human Services to prevent worker furloughs and provider rate cuts.

    The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill to immediately provide $34 million in funding to the Department of Human Services to prevent worker furloughs and provider rate cuts.

Powered by Frankly