Jenna Ganje, originally from Weyburn, now holds the position of Director of Operations and Productions at the newly established television network, NGBN.TV, which commenced operations this past January. While the network's content is tailored to the interests of men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, its underlying mission extends well beyond good entertainment. Just before the network's debut, the loss of a friend to suicide spurred the team into action, hastening their plans and advancing the launch date. 

Presently, the network has set an ambitious target of training 100,000 people in suicide prevention within a single day. To achieve this lofty goal the network has teamed up with award-winning Suicide Prevention Expert and decorated military veteran, Craig Hannum. Hannum served in the U.S. Army for over 20 years and served an additional four years as the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the U.S. Army. Stationed in Fort Huachuca, AZ, Hannum oversaw two additional bases, the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL, and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX. 

“I was in the position for four years and in the year of 2019, my last year in the position is when I finally found the right message, the right delivery. I trained my own first responders, I trained first-line leaders, team leaders like sergeants, Staff Sergeant command teams, all the way up to Colonel, and Command Sergeant Major command teams to be my first responders on those bases.” 

According to Hannum by 2019, the three bases he oversaw had zero suicides, including civilians and contractors. This is a remarkable challenge to overcome, given that according to the National Library of Medicine, the U.S. Armed Forces have seen the suicide rate double since 2006 with the sharpest increase in Army soldiers. According to the Department of Defense as of 2019, the Army suicide rate is over three times higher than the Marine Corps and almost two times higher than the Navy and Air Force. 

According to Statistics Canada, men are approximately three times more likely to commit suicide compared to women with the highest rates in the 40s, 50s, and 60s with age 80 and older running close behind. 

“It’s (suicide) happening way too much, way too often, we decided to push really fast with this network once someone within our network committed suicide. It’s working, we have had some people reach out and say, I know this person who is struggling, I thought of your network first, can you help him? It was Ian’s idea to help train people because we found that just talking about it isn’t enough,” said Ganje. “This is where Craig comes in because he is going to help to teach, this is how you know, this is what you look for and this is what you do.” 

Hannum explained that when someone died by suicide, military protocol required him to perform a detailed inspection of the person’s activities that led up to the tragedy. 

“I had to figure out what the contributing factor was, to the best of our knowledge up to that point. So, I would go back weeks, and you could see this build-up, you could see toxic leadership, not being engaged. It was not to identify fault, I would use that for training, we lost this person, and here’s what it led up to, I had to give debriefing to Commanding Generals.” 

Hannum's thorough and dedicated investigation into the lives of individuals who died by suicide revealed consistent patterns and indicators exhibited before their tragic deaths. 

“When I finally found the right delivery, it really resounded with every single audience, there wasn’t a single group that didn’t have that ‘ah ha’ moment,” shared Hannum. “And then I created a Unit Risk Inventory that had 54 questions on it. It went over all the areas of high-risk behavior, it was a blind survey that was aggregate data, but we could break it down in such a way to say, oh, there are four people in your organization that are thinking about suicide, we know three, who’s missing, we could get it to the individual.” 

Sergeant First Class Hannum was recognized on the global stage for his leadership and dedicated efforts to prevent suicide. Competing against 300,000 Army Civilians globally, in 2019 he received the prestigious Joseph P. Cribbins Medal.  

Hannum’s impressive military career earned him numerous awards and medals, including but not limited to, four Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, two Overseas Service Ribbon Awards, the Global on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and in 2011 as a Military Police Soldier competing aging federal, state, country and local city officers in Arizona, he was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. 

Having retired from military service, Hannum is now determined to utilize his expertise to empower the public in suicide prevention and first aid efforts. Teaming up with NGBN.TV they have set the unprecedented goal of training 100,000 people in suicide prevention and first aid in a single day for free. 

“Equip Ourselves to Save a Life” suicide prevention and first aid training workshop will stream live through the NGBN.TV website from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET and again at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 6th. The event is free to attend, however, registration is required. To sign up you can go to the NGBN.TV website or download the app from Apple TV, Roku, Google Play, and more. 

NGBN Suicide Prevention Poster