Army ACE Suicide Intervention Program

Date: 2010
(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)

Information

Type:  Program/Practice, Education/Training Program
Organization:  U.S. Army
Costs: 

The Army ACE Suicide Intervention Program is available for free from the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) website for those with authorization at: http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training.asp

Contact

Spencer C. Myers
Training Analyst, Army Suicide Prevention Program (ASPP)
Army G-1, Army Resiliency Directorate (ARD) 
Voice: 703-571-7248 DSN 671-7248
Website: (see Costs)

The Army ACE Suicide Intervention (ACE-SI) Program is a three-hour training that provides soldiers with the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to intervene with those at risk for suicide. ACE stands for Ask, Care, and Escort. The purpose of ACE is to help soldiers and junior leaders become more aware of steps they can take to prevent suicides and confident in their ability to do so. ACE encourages soldiers to directly and honestly question any battle buddy who exhibits suicidal behavior. The battle buddy should ask a fellow soldier whether he or she is suicidal, care for the soldier, and escort the soldier to the source of professional help. This training helps soldiers avoid letting their fears of suicide govern their actions to prevent suicides.

ACE program materials include: a trainer’s manual; PowerPoint slides with embedded video messages; suicide prevention tip cards (which list risk factors and warning signs for suicide); and ACE wallet cards (with simple directions for identifying and intervening with those at risk).

ACE was created in response to an army leadership request to develop a suicide intervention skills training support package (TSP) for army-wide distribution. The program is based on relevant research literature and has undergone a process of testing and revision that included focus group interviews and pilot testing to determine training utility and feasibility. A preliminary report describing the results of the pilot test is available for review. ACE has been reviewed by Army Medical Command personnel and Army G-1 for applicability and was approved for army-wide training by the Army Task Force on Suicide Prevention.

Program Objectives

After training, Soldiers should:

  1. Feel increased individual and group responsibility for the well-being of others.
  2. Have increased awareness of stigma and its negative effects on help-seeking.
  3. Have increased knowledge and skills for identifying, intervening, and referring suicidal Warriors for help.
  4. Have increased competence and confidence in the application of these skills.
  5. Have increased knowledge of military and community resources for Warrior referrals.

Implementation Essentials

  • ACE should be implemented as instructed in the training protocols. Deviations from these protocols should be approved in advance by the ACE development team.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 5.3: Intervene to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in populations with suicide risk.
Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.
Populations:  Young Adults Ages 18 to 25 Years, Military Service Members and Veterans
Strategies:  Identify and Assist, Gatekeeper Training