ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors participated in a 5K run on the flight deck Sept. 21 in support of suicide awareness and prevention.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Commands throughout the military are using this month as a launching pad to focus on suicide prevention efforts.
"The more we can put out that [mental health] is a symptom of a medical condition, hopefully we can put mental health on the same level as any other medical condition as the stigma related to seeking mental health treatment reduces," said Lt. Tahney Johnston, Truman's ommand clinical psychologist.
The event, hosted by Truman's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Multi-Cultural Committee, was geared toward increasing awareness as well as encouraging Sailors to continue taking care of themselves and their shipmates.
The Navy provides a wide array of resources pertaining to suicide prevention, including a 24/7 telephone help line, websites on suicide prevention and operational stress management, and an online newsletter.
"I think there's a lack of awareness when it comes to what's available to Sailors," said Johnston. "It's important that we understand that there are resources."
Hosting the 5K was an opportunity to raise awareness with the theme and purpose of the event.
"We wanted to use this event to encourage each other to make it to the end," said Legalman 1st Class Kareshia Stallworth, a member of Truman's Multi-Cultural Committee. "Whether that end is the finish line, the next qualification or life's obstacles, let's continue to do our part in the prevention of suicide by taking care of each other, always."
The impact suicide can have both in and out of the military was the motivating factor for one Truman Sailor.
"Being able to run on the flight deck with all of my Truman family was nice, especially since it was for a good cause," said Aerographer's Mate 3rd Class Jessica Bishop. "We had a really good turn out with an overwhelming sense of camaraderie."
For more information on suicide prevention, visit http://www.suicide.navy.mil/ or http://www.dspo.mil/
Truman is currently underway preparing for future operations. For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit http://www.facebook.com/usstruman.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.