WASHINGTON (AP) -- Army soldiers have been ordered to put aside their usual duties and spend Thursday on suicide prevention training.
This military "stand down" comes as the Pentagon struggles with a spike in the number of self-inflicted deaths this year.
The Army's top enlisted soldier, Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler, says the day will focus on making sure that troops and their families know what programs are available to them and helping them get over the embarrassment that keeps many from seeking help.
Troops with duties such as combat operations in Afghanistan or medical duties in army hospitals will schedule their training when possible.
The Army is the largest of the services and it has the highest number of suicides. It is the only one planning the special training Thursday.