By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – E4 Health Inc., in partnership with The Jason Foundation, has launched a new suicide prevention program, “Guard Your Buddy,” working with the Tennessee National Guard.
The program will provide more than 15,000 members of the Tennessee National Guard and their family members with anytime/anywhere access to counseling and crisis intervention from an innovation mobile application and website.
Sobel & Raciti Associates, an E4 Health company based in Providence, will serve as program “hub,” providing real-time counseling and crisis intervention, accessible via innovative mobile application.
Through the program, the first of its kind in the nation, Guard members can access the Guard Your Buddy mobile application anywhere in the world to receive immediate 24/7 assistance from licensed mental health staff at Sobel & Raciti.
In addition to addressing depression and overall health and well-being, the program seeks to help Guard members balance the demands of active duty with those at home, routing services and resources in a discrete and timely manner – from financial and job counseling, to helping find dependable child and elder care.
“Suicide is escalating in the armed forces, especially among deployed and returning soldiers, many of whom don't know where to turn to address the stress and difficulties of everyday life,” said Bill Mulcahy, CEO of E4 Health. “We believe the Guard Your Buddy program has the potential to change the way the Tennessee National Guard – indeed all branches of the armed forces – reach, identify, engage, and support at-risk members.”
“Too many misaligned and complex government programs are failing to reach the Guard with immediate help for challenges that lead to intense distress and even suicidal behaviors,” said Harry Sobel, psychologist and senior vice president at Sobel & Raciti Associates. “We are combining traditional outreach with the power of electronic media and a one-touch app to help soldiers when they need it – which is immediately.”
The Guard Your Buddy app is available free of charge at the Apple Store and the Android Market.