by Hope Hodge Seck
Sep 16, 2016
"Suicide prevention requires ongoing efforts to promote health and a sense of community. It is a shared responsibility," the message states. "Despite the fact that 85 percent of Sailors say they will seek help if overwhelmed by stress, 2 out of 3 believe there are barriers to seeking help, and 1 in 3 believe their shipmates will see them as weak."
Lt. David Dziengowski, left, Yeoman 1st Class Silvia Raya, and Lt. j.g. Victor Gutierrez, from the Chief of Naval Personnel office, show support as part of Suicide Prevention Month. (US Navy Photo)A Navy program rolling out in the coming year aims to keep care providers in closer contact with sailors who have expressed suicidal ideations in an effort to prevent suicide in the ranks.
Called Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life, or SAIL, the program is modeled after a Marine Corps initiative launched in late 2013.
Both SAIL and the Marine Intercept Program allow counselors to make contact with consenting troops at six different intervals -- 3, 7, 14, 30, 60 and 90 days -- after a service member expresses a suicidal ideation.
"We need to develop a culture where people are just not afraid to ask for help when facing a challenge that is just a little overwhelming," Capt. Mike Fisher, director of the Navy's Suicide Prevention Branch, told Military.com in an interview. "This is just one more small act that can save one more life."
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