Thursday, September 4, 2008

U.S. Army Introduces Interactive DVD to Help Prevent Suicides

Thanks to Trish Forant ( for her tweet on Twitter I learned about the U.S. Army’s new efforts to prevent suicides.

Col. Elspeth C. Ritchie, director of the Army Medical Department’s Strategic Communications and formerly psychiatry consultant to the army’s surgeon general, said that soldiers might be aware of risk signs of suicide in other soldiers but not know how to approach those soldiers.

The army is now rolling out a new interactive DVD that features realistic video vignettes about two soldiers who have problems. And this DVD will allow soldiers to practice how to aid potential suicide victims.

According to the September 3rd article in by Gary Sheftick titled “Interactive DVD among new tools to prevent suicides”:

The video, or “virtual experience immersive learning simulation,” also known as VEILS, follows the problems of the two soldiers and their stories change based on input from the viewer.

If the viewer says the wrong thing and gets bad results, Ritchie said the DVD will allow the trainee to re-do the vignette until the outcome is more favorable.

Thousands of copies of the DVD, developed by Lincoln University in Missouri, will be distributed this fall. And the vignettes can be seen on the web page of the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine at

Read the full article at

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