September is National Suicide Prevention Month. The Coast Guard’s theme for this year is “Be there: your action could save a life.” Over 40,000 Americans die each year by suicide, and based on the Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Study, three percent of Coast Guard members have thought about attempting suicide.
Tag: national suicide prevention month
Written by: John Sparks, Coast Guard SUPRT Program Director Hey Coastie, you are trained to be a lifesaver. In fact, you will, on any given day, put yourself in harm’s way to ensure the safety of others. But what about the Coastie next to you who may be depressed to the point of contemplating or
Coast Guard chaplains join the Commandant in recognizing September as Suicide Awareness Month and ask every Coast Guardsmen to “Just Reach Out” to your shipmates in need. The chaplains have coordinated efforts to created a suicide-safer community by teaching Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and SafeTALK. Read the full post to learn more about these programs and to find out how to participate in an upcoming workshop.
While September is Suicide Prevention Month, reminders about how families can access mental health assistance are important all year around. Starting next month, Tricare will begin easing some of its restrictions on getting mental health and drug treatment coverage. Military kids and spouses may struggle with stress, depression, or suicidal thoughts. As military families, we take pride in our resilience and our strength in overcoming the challenges. But refusing help is not a sign of strength. When it comes to emotional pain and mental health care, take advantage of all of the resources available. Don’t let the mask of strength block access to help when you or your family needs it.
The newest episode of the Coast Guard Paratus Report is now live! The Paratus Report is a workforce news program focused at keeping Coast Guard members informed of what’s happening throughout their Coast Guard. Specifically, September is Coast Guard Personal Readiness Month. This episode features safety tips and information for National Preparedness Month, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and National Recovery Month. Also, this month’s Bravo Zulu goes out to Coast Guard veteran Dave Riley. Watch the full episode!
It was my honor and privilege to talk with Senior Chief Dasher last week. She travels nationwide to talk about how she overcame such a significant crisis in her life. It takes tremendous courage to share her story, and I am grateful for her willingness to use it for the benefit of others.
Stigma is one of the meanest and most difficult aspects of addiction, because it explains why people like me hide the disease. My message to that fellow Coastie who is out there struggling, or to the member who wonders whether their shipmate has a problem, just take that first step.
A person’s career is not necessarily in jeopardy if they seek help for depression. Even 12 years ago, the Coast Guard realized that depression is a potentially deadly disease and treated my situation medically, not administratively.
When I finally asked for help, I received treatment and my command was extremely supportive and understanding. I was lucky, and it all seemed to align. I was finally taking action to become a better version of myself, which in fact was just the old me.
September is both National Recovery Month and National Suicide Prevention Month. In light of these co-occurring observances, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steve Cantrell is trying to break the stigma of asking for help.