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Official Calls Resilience Key Factor in Suicide Prevention

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2014 – Resilience -- the ability to recover and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands -- is a key factor in suicide prevention, the director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office said yesterday.

Jacqueline Garrick, speaking at the Defense Centers of Excellence Psychological Health and Resilience Summit in Falls Church, Virginia, said defining resilience incorporated a critical factor into examining her office’s efforts.

Posing the question, “Where does resilience begin?” Garrick talked about the importance of having the ability to withstand recovery and grow from it. She noted it’s critical to build and sustain resilience. “If you don’t have those skills in the first place, you won’t be able to use them in the face of adversity,” she said.

Seek intervention when needed

Garrick said that as service members go through life and face a variety of challenges and demands, it’s important to seek intervention when needed. Such support, she added, can come from friends, family, peers, chaplains and commanders -- and from behavioral health care when necessary.

When a service member has resilience, building those skills back up after meeting a challenge allows for post-traumatic growth, she added.

“Your resilience is reinforced because you learned new techniques, overcame challenges, built your confidence and you’re able to move forward to face new challenges,” Garrick explained.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)


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