The Most Significant Day In My Career

Many are the days when specific jobs become frustrating and stressing. In many cases, professionals view them as the most important because the challenges they encounter are useful in handling worse future cases. Besides, the incidents help the professionals to understand their roles better. The experience has not been exceptional to me, and I have encountered one of the toughest, but significant days in my career. To understand how professionals feel and behave in such days, this paper discusses my experience with a soldier who attempted to commit suicide. Besides, it highlights other experiences that prepared me to handle the incidents of the significant day.

Over the past couple of years, suicide has become one of the leading causes of death among active duty personnel. This unfortunate fact is very personal for me. Some years ago, while I was serving as a company commander, I experienced the worst and the most significant day in my professional career. The incidence took place when one of the warrant officers in my company attempted to commit suicide. This event did not only impact his family, but also stirred an array of traumatic emotions for everyone who knew him. All those that were present expressed guilt, anger, betrayal, anxiety, helplessness, and even shame because they had nothing they could do to rescue the soldier. However, I took my central position as the officer in charge, and I stepped in to offer first aid. I knew that it was necessary to utilize an emergency plan, which would ensure that everyone in the scene was safe. The utilization of the contingency plan was done to prevent any injury to the victim and others who were around. In this context, I called the other officers who were around to assist in removing injurious substances from the area where the event was taking place. I ensured that I was near the officer to ensure that he did not continue harming himself.

It is essential to note that the soldier had laid flat on the ground and was screaming at the loudest voice. I loosened all his clothes while shaking, despite the fact that this was not the first experience with suicidal cases. I contacted his family to find out her medical history after ringing the ambulance. Even prior to this life-altering incident, I had grown up in the tumultuous world of mental illness. There has been no limitation of the dark aura of suicide and mental illness in my life in the military. Several years ago, I experienced a horrible scare when a close family member attempted suicide. Some of the cases I had experienced were severe, but I maintained calmness, but this was difficult because of the large cloud that had gathered. Finally, the ambulance came, and the officers rushed him to the army hospital where the medical practitioners gave the necessary help.

Although the attempt was unsuccessful, it left me forever changed. Each experience has strengthened my resolve to make a positive difference in the lives of those who are struggling with behavior health concerns. The incident during my company command has left a lasting impact and compelled me to make an effort of knowing the soldiers and family members in my organization. By building relationships, I can increase the likeliness that Soldiers and family members will reach out to me for resources if they are considering suicide.

Since serving in the military, I have been deployed overseas twice. During my second deployment to Iraq, a senior noncommissioned officer in my brigade, a man who had served for over 25 years in the army committed suicide. I could only think that if the soldier had taken advantage of the behavioral health clinic at our forward operating base, they could avoid this tragedy. I have quickly learned that an enormous burden is placed on army leaders to keep mental stressors to themselves rather than seek help through available resources. Unfortunately, this man, like so many, did not seek aid during his time of need, possibly due to the stigma attached to seeing behavioral health professionals. I knew that I had a responsibility as a leader to get to know my brothers and sisters in arms. If I met someone who was bothered by something or was behaving in a way that is out of character, I was supposed to stop and have a conversation with him or her. Sometimes, letting a person know that their life matters is all that it takes to change a tragedy into something that a person can work through. It is my goal to ensure that soldiers know that there is no shame or weakness in seeking help.

I have already benefitted from a great deal of mental health training through various community volunteer opportunities. I have worked with patient support hospice care, patient support of Michael Reese Hospital, Adolescent Psychiatry Ward, victim support at a battered women's shelter. Moreover, I have served as an inmate tutor at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois. Through volunteering, I have learned that each case is unique, and that particular assistance is necessary to assess individuals and provide appropriate prevention resources and support. Additionally, I have come to value the many interconnecting factors that contribute to mental wellness as well as suicidal cases. The value was critical to the experience of the attempted suicide.

Currently, the tremendous shortage of behavioral health providers in the army is only compounded by the immense backlog of patients and countless individuals who suffer in silence. The army is known to take care of its own, and this has never seemed to be until the day that we lost a great leader during my time as a company commander. After the incident, I realized that I had to take a more active role in the army’s effort to reduce the epidemic that claims too many of our nation’s promising heroes. My experiences provide constant fuel for my ultimate goal of aiding America’s sons and daughters from losing their lives. The aid is achievable through the application of the acquired skills from the many organizations that I have worked with.

In conclusion, a significant day in a professional career is the one in which a person saved a life. It is imperative to state that I am still determined to work and serve, despite the experiences. My happiness is seeing everybody grow and celebrate their successes and being part of them. Therefore, I urge all professionals to take control of the events that occur in their workplace, irrespective of their magnitude. It is also necessary to offer the relevant education to professionals for them to handle stress effectively.


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