SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE UPDATE:
R 251807Z JAN 21 MID600050163735U
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/JAN//
SUBJ/SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE UPDATE//
NARR/REF A IS NAVY SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM INSTRUCTION.
REF B IS CULTURAL CHAMPION NETWORK QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE.
REF C IS NAVY SUICIDE PREVENTION HANDBOOK.
REF D IS SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE (SAIL) COMMANDERS
RMKS/1. As we start the New Year, I would like to acknowledge all the hard
work being done to encourage Sailors to seek help and combat destructive
behaviors. Although the overall suicide rate has started to move in the
right direction, we must continue to keep the focus on Sailor support. We
are still losing too many Sailors to suicide: 76 in 2020, 80 in 2019, and 79
2. We must employ and empower the Cultural Champion Network, which includes
Command Resilience Teams, Command Resilience Team Human Factors Councils and
Engaged Deckplate Leaders in line with references (a) through (d). Numerous
life circumstances can produce added pressure to a force already stressed by
If left unacknowledged and therefore unchecked, this pressure, can strain
Sailors psychological and emotional well-being. An important part of
creating a command climate that encourages help-seeking behavior is intrusive
leadership especially at the deck plate level.
Know your Sailors. Leaders at every level should understand the factors that
increase suicide risk and how your mission, work schedule, environment and
other stressors might contribute to that risk. Take actions to get to the
3. Warm handoffs are critical for at-risk Sailors, we must ensure no Sailor
slips through the cracks, especially when transitioning from command to
command (e.g. Permanent Change of Station, Temporary Additional Duty) or
whenever the normal social network is disrupted.
After a Sailor receives psychological health treatment or intervention,
appropriate reintegration whether transitioning them back into the workplace,
into another job field or into civilian life is vital to the Sailors long-
term successful recovery.
Reintegration must be done carefully, ensuring no support gaps between the
medical provider and command leadership. Sailors should receive the
continual support needed to carry on in their careers and personal lives.
4. We continue to improve existing programs and develop new tools to help
commands and Sailors. Expanded Operational Stress Control and the Commanders
Risk Mitigation Dashboard are currently being tested and will be made
available upon conclusion of the pilot.
5. The Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life (SAIL) Program is a critical
resource that requires unit leadership engagement to be successful. However,
the Sailor acceptance rate remains around 50 percent. SAIL case managers
continue to have difficulty making contact with Sailors who are referred to
SAIL. To close this identified gap, we will implement changes to the SAIL
a. Specifically, SAIL procedures will be modified to require Commanding
Officers to instruct and verify that the Sailors who have experienced a
suicide-related behavior contact the SAIL case manager at the nearest Fleet
and Family Service Center. This minor change in policy will help strengthen
communication between Sailors and SAIL case managers by involving both in the
initial contact process.
b. Command referral is mandatory for any Sailor exhibiting suicidal
behavior or attempt. Since COVID-19, we have seen our referral rate drop
from near 100 percent to 83 percent. After the Sailor is contacted,
participation in the SAIL program remains voluntary, but you as leadership
should take an active role in seeing that your Sailor gets the help they
6. Additional guidance for submitting SAIL referrals, including the Suicide
Prevention Handbook and SAIL Commanders Toolkit, can be found on the Navy
Suicide Prevention Program website:
7. The point of contact for the SAIL program is Mr. Victor Gooden, N170F,
who can be reached at (901) 874-4220/DSN 882 or via e-mail at
8. Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell Jr, N1.//