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Dec 11, 2009 9:44 PM by Matt Stafford

Fort Carson soldiers fighting suicide

Suicides are causing big problems for our military. The number of military suicides has gone up every year for the last five years. It's an issue that's getting more and more attention.

The number of U.S. military suicides topped last year's high number of over 140 last month, for the year.

Now with so many, the military is putting extra focus on the problem.

Soldiers at Fort Carson are training to help make a difference.

"A commander told me once that having a suicide in a unit is like having a terrorist who breaks in to your squadron and takes one of your members and you have no way of ever capturing or ever finding out what happened," says David Pina, a former chaplain and Friday's senior training coach.

That's why soldiers at Fort Carson are quick to try to help.

"I think it's important to be sensitive to where people are and it's part of being, I think, a good person," says Scott Ingram, a chaplain with the Army.

Ingram, like the others, is looking for ways to help out.

"What were doing here is to provide the training for other soldiers who might know their comrades, so what they're going to be looking for is changes," Pina says.

"Identify a person who might be suicidal, How to ask the question, not be afraid to ask the question and then explore reasons why they might feel that way." that's what Ingram says will help him to catch people who may be in trouble.

However, it can be a tough task when the person you're trying to help isn't sure what they need.

"They're not really sure what they should do," Ingram says. "Big picture, we want to give soldiers tools to save lives."

Which is a job they know something about.

These 22 soldiers will be trainers to others soldiers, using the same techniques they learned Friday.

The goal is for each trainer to train someone else, then as that cycle continues, more and more people will be looking for signs that something is not ok.

Hopefully more eyes on the problem will save more lives.

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