A Suicide Prevention Paintball Tournament and suicide prevention training took place Sept. 25 on Clay North during Suicide Prevention Month.
The goal was to raise suicide awareness and bring people together to enjoy some safe outside activity during COVID times, said Jason Mohilla, Army Substance Abuse Program specialist. People have had limited social contacts and many people are more prone to depression when they are alone, he said.
“Everybody had a good time,” Mohilla said. “It breaks the stress and removes you from that mindset.”
Before the fun part started, Mohilla gave the general safety brief and started the suicide prevention training. He usually talks about personal experiences and encourages feedback, Mohilla said. He always adjusts the brief to what the group needs.
He usually talks about Ask, Care, Escort Suicide Intervention, he said. If a person suspects someone is suicidal the first thing to do is ask, then take care of the person and escort hi
m or her to a source of professional help.
The training also involves role play and a question and answer portion, he said. There are many resources that offer help, but people usually only think of behavioral health.
A great resource are the chaplains, he said, but people can also get help with the Employee Assistance Program, the Military and Family Life Counseling Program and many more.
After the training portion ended, a team building competition in paintball, archery and air rifle began.
“It’s a positive thing to do,” said Matthew Murcin, ASAP manager. “It’s a controlled environment, it’s safe and it’s with friends. It’s been proven to be psychologically beneficial.”
One of the main target groups of the activity were younger Soldiers who “were stuck alone in the barracks,” he said.
“There was overwhelming joy,” Mohilla said. “A chaplain came with his assistant in
a support function. She watched a couple of rounds and how much fun they had. Then, she played and so did the chaplain.”
“A spouse came by and ended up challenging her husband,” he said. “We could see that we were getting the desired effect.”
People who have questions about suicide prevention or teambuilding and training activities can contact ASAP at 0611-143-548-1400 / 1408 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.