MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy's Fleet and Family Support Centers have launched the 'AID LIFE' suicide awareness and prevention campaign to offer the Navy community watchdog tips for saving lives.
The suicide prevention campaign is aimed at first responders - anyone who notices the warning signs of suicide and takes preventive action. AID LIFE is designed to make everyone aware of the warning signs and prompt them to intervene with those at risk.
"Every life and every Sailor is important, and the Navy leadership views the loss of one Sailor as a serious loss," said Dr. Tony Doran, director of the Navy's Suicide Prevention Program at Navy Personnel Command. "The key message is that anyone in the Navy can save lives. Whether you are a junior-level Sailor, a captain, active duty or reserve, you can help people before it's too late."
AID LIFE is also a step-by-step memory aid on what individuals should do if they encounter someone who may be suicidal : Ask. Intervene immediately. Don't keep it a secret. Locate help. Inform your chain of command. Find someone, don't leave the person alone. Expedite, get help right away.
"Sailors should tell someone immediately if they suspect someone of being suicidal," said Melody Goodwin, ethical adviser for NPC. "If you keep quiet, you can do more harm that way. Tell someone in the chain of command. Make sure the chaplains and appropriate personnel know."
According to Goodwin, while there is no absolute sign that someone is in danger of taking their life, most have a hard time hiding personal struggles, engage in drug or alcohol abuse, and have strong feelings of guilt.
"One indicator that we see a lot is Sailors giving away their personal belongings and making final plans," she said.
The Navy offers suicide prevention training through its Fleet and Family Support Center with experienced mental health professionals and substance abuse programs. Base chaplains are also available to help, with chapels regularly offering suicide prevention training.
The goal is to "pair up those who need help with professionals," Doran said. "We don't have suicide support groups, but commands might have a depression support group or any number of services to help an individual deal with suicidal thoughts."
For more information visit on suicide prevention, visit www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/SuicidePrevention/ or the Navy One Source Web site at www.navyonesource.com. Individuals may also call (800) 540-4123 for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For related news, visit the Navy Personnel Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/npc/.