SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH:
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FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
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SUBJ/SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH//
RMKS/1. September is Suicide Prevention Month. This year, the
Department of Defense's theme is "Connect to Protect; Support is
within Reach," which highlights the value of unit connectedness as a
key protective factor in suicide prevention. Suicide Prevention is
an All Hands effort. We must dedicate ourselves to fostering
supportive environments where Service Members feel connected with
one another, seek help without fear, and can readily access mental
health resources when needed.
2. To prevent suicide, it is critical that every Navy unit has a
command-wide climate built on trust and respect, with high
protective factors and low risk factors, where the stigma for
seeking help does not exist. NAVADMIN 139/23, "Revisions to Command
Climate Assessments," and its supporting fact sheet provide guidance
for the 2023 Command Climate Assessment Annual Fielding Window,
emphasizing the importance of building the protective factors of
connectedness and inclusion, while targeting recognized risk factors
of moderate and high stress; workplace hostility; and the presence
of harassing behaviors (both racial and sexual). The fact sheet
provides manners and methods for doing so.
3. A healthy command climate that promotes high morale and
significantly reduces stress should be an essential part of every
unit's suicide prevention program. Suicide prevention should be
part of a command's daily business, and every member of our Navy
team should be prepared to recognize warning signs and provide our
people the help and care they need.
a. The Mental Health Playbook (V1.1) offers guidance on how to
have effective conversations that promote trust and create a sense
6JZs35TCd2ZQ%3d%3d b. If you believe that a shipmate is experiencing
suicidal thoughts, remember to ACT - Ask, Care, Treat.
(1) Ask - Ask your shipmate directly "are you thinking about
killing yourself? Do you have a plan to kill yourself?"
(2) Care - Tell your shipmate that you're concerned about
them, without judgment.
(3) Treat - Take your shipmate to get help immediately and
stay with your shipmate until they are directly connected with
c. Service Members within the Continental United States (CONUS)
experiencing suicidal ideation should call the Veterans Crisis Line
at 988 and press 1, or go directly to the nearest emergency room.
d. Service Members outside the Continental United States
(OCONUS) experiencing suicidal ideation should call Europe:
00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118, Korea: 080-855-5118 or DSN 118,
Philippines: Dial #MYVA or 02-8550-3888 and press 7. For all other
locations, reach out via the Veterans Crisis Line by following the
country code dialing procedures to call the CONUS 800 number (1-800-
273-8225 and press 1). Alternatively, Service Members can open a
chat at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help-now/chat/ and
request a phone call from the crisis line responder who will call
them at any OCONUS location, or follow local procedures to access
4. The majority of Sailors and family members who die by suicide
use personal firearms to take their lives. Consistently storing
personal firearms in a gun safe or with a gun lock, and separate
from ammunition is critical to preventing a Service Member or family
member from taking an impulsive, highly lethal action.
a. More than 413,400 gun locks have been distributed Navy-wide
since 2020 and are available free of charge at all Fleet and Family
Service Centers and Navy Reserve Centers.
b. For more information, posters and products on Lethal Means
5. Numerous resources are available for commands, Service Members
and their families.
a. Access to mental health care is a key protective factor in
suicide prevention. Refer to the mental health care roadmap on the
back of the Mental Health Playbook for resources on access to care.
Additionally, NAVADMIN 166/23, "Self-Initiated Referral Process for
Mental Health Evaluations of Service Members" was issued in July
2023. This policy can be found at:
b. Chaplains are also a significant part of our continuum of
care. Chaplains offer a uniquely protected confidentiality to our
Sailors that makes them a safe place to start seeking care. If you
or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or
feelings, you can reach out to a chaplain.
c. The Project 1 Small Act (P1SA) campaign provides a toolkit of
suicide prevention activities, not just for Suicide Prevention month
but for use year round. A recently updated Suicide Prevention
Handbook and General Military Training products are also available
on the website at: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Support-Services/Culture-
d. Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life (SAIL) is an
evidence-informed intervention program that assigns a case worker to
provide rapid assistance, ongoing risk assessment, care
coordination, and reintegration assistance to Active Duty Sailors
who experience a suicide ideation or attempt.
6. The point of contact for Navy specific suicide prevention
questions is the Navy Culture and Force Resilience Office via e-mail
7. Released by Vice Admiral Richard J. Cheeseman, Jr., N1.//