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NEWS | Jan. 9, 2024

AR-MEDCOM Suicide Prevention Message: 'Remember that you have value'

By Sgt. 1st Class Neil W. McCabe Army Reserve Medical Command

The Army Reserve Medical Command’s commanding general Maj. Gen. W. Scott Lynn and his senior enlisted advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Boudnik took a different approach to their suicide prevention messaging in a new video “AR-MEDCOM Suicide Prevention Message: 'Remember that you have value'," posted Jan. 3.

“I'm Scott, and this is Bob. We're here to talk this morning about taking care of yourself, your family, and your fellow soldiers. We're purposely out of uniform this morning because we wanted you to have a direct conversation with us, a soldier-to-soldier conversation, no uniforms and no rank,” said Scott as he opened the video shot at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which sits at the southern foot of Alabama’s Red Mountain.

“In the Judeo-Christian and other traditions, mankind, self-worth starts with our creation and God's image,” the general said. “Even if you're not religious, recognizing our human value is a good place to start. Each of you has value. This means that each and every one of you, short, medium, and even super tall, like Bob here, no matter your race, gender, financial situation, standing, or family dynamics, you have intrinsic value.”

Lynn, in a sweater and jeans, stood with Boudnik in a black turtleneck and jeans, and said he just wanted to give Soldiers some context in terms of context of three C’s and a T -- context, community, communication and time.

“Even when you're feeling depressed, anxious, frustrated, and even somewhat desperate, remember that you have value in your very being in the Army in which you serve, in your community, in your workplace, and in your family,” he said.

“We encourage you to be deliberate in remembering that you matter,” he said. “Deliberate in connecting with your community and deliberate in communicating—and finally afford yourself the time to think and reflect, especially when you feel down and out—take advantage of your Army resources and of those around you.”

Boudnik said community is vital and it is all around us.

“Let's talk about community for one minute,” the command sergeant major said.

“Who is our community? It is our team. It is our squad. It is your family. It is our Army family. That is who we are. It is everyone we serve with,” the Greenfield, Wisconsin, native said.

“Part of our community is trusting,” he said. “We have someone who we can reach out to for help. That makes all the difference. It comes down to a moment, a decision, or a choice in that one second, in that one moment, in that one hour, in that moment, that moment asking for help, support, or assistance, no matter what, just take a moment to ask, and we are here for you, our community. Your army is here for you. This is our squad.”

Lynn said time is the critical element to make the three C’s work, and for Soldiers to give time to themselves.

“Serving in the Army Reserve takes a lot of time,” said the general, who earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed his radiology residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. “Time that often pulls us from our responsibilities within our family, with our friends, in our workplace, and in our community. This often creates tension and stress. We absolutely encourage you to seek out and build connectedness with your community.”

Read more about the Army Reserve Medical Command’s suicide messaging in the news story entitled “AR-MEDCOM CG, CSM offer new approach to address suicide crisis.”

The Army Reserve Medical Command is the Army’s premier medical professional organization. AR-MEDCOM provides medical, dental, blood donor and veterinary services, as well as the medical professionals needed for Soldier Readiness Processing and Troop Medical Clinic operations at Mobilization Force Generation Installations located throughout the United States. There are approximately 8,200 Soldiers assigned to AR-MEDCOM’s more than 110 units located throughout the United States. More than 21,000 AR-MEDCOM Soldiers have mobilized in support of CONUS and OCONUS missions since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.