MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy released NAVADMIN 178/11 June 9, reminding Sailors about the importance of suicide prevention and the resources available for commands as well as Sailors and their families.
Suicide prevention resources are more readily available than ever, according to Lt. Cmdr. Bonnie Chavez, Navy Behavioral Health Program director.
Every Navy homepage now has a direct Lifeline link to a live chat staffed by Veterans Affairs professionals. The national suicide prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and Sailors are urged to add this number to their phones and their family members' phones for quick access.
"Just like fire extinguishers and floatation devices, these phone and internet chat links can be life-saving tools if they are readily available when expert help may not be physically or emotionally within reach, or you need expert support to better help a shipmate in need," said
A new Commander's Toolkit for Suicide Prevention is available for download at www.suicide.navy.mil. It contains a collection of guidance, checklists, and templates to assist commands in assessing and directing unit efforts to save lives and support those affected by a tragedy.
"So far this year, nearly 700 troubled Sailors were reached by a shipmate, family member or leader who remembered to ACT," Chavez said.
ACT is an acronym used in suicide prevention to help people remember to: A - Ask the question, C - Care and help the person find T - Treatment.
While many have received help this year, 24 Sailors have been lost to suicide in the first four months of 2011.
"Our collective sympathy goes out to those who are personally grieving the loss of a friend and colleague to suicide," Chavez said.
For more information, go to www.suicide.navy.mil or www.navynavstress.com.
For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.