On Tuesday, the Tennessee National Guard unveiled a new suicide prevention strategy: a smartphone application aimed at suicidal soldiers. The app is intended to address a rise in the suicide rate of U.S. soldiers, which reached a high of almost three decades during the Iraq War.
The "Guard Your Buddy" app provides soldiers with an immediate support network in times of need through a variety of strategies. It allows members of the Tennessee National Guard to connect with others in their community, and also offers professional psychological counseling 24 hours a day.
This app was co-sponsored by the Tennessee National Guard and The Jason Foundation, a suicide prevention group. Beginning January 1, all members of the Tennessee National Guard will be required to carry a card with the web site and app information whenever they are on duty.