I told them I felt ashamed and like I was worthless because of how far I had fallen. They reminded me that my family and my health were more important than my career.
Tag: suicide awareness
Once a month, Coast Guard Compass will feature “Dear Coast Guard Family,” a column for Coast Guard families by Coast Guard spouse Rachel Conley. Rachel is married to her high school sweetheart, Chief Warrant Officer James Conley, and is the mother of three children. Rachel passionately serves as a Coast Guard Ombudsman and advocate of Coast Guard families. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the United States Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year Award.
Would you recognize the signs if someone was in a suicidal state of mind? How would you react if someone told you, “I want to kill myself?” What steps would you take to get them to safety and to the professional help they need? Thankfully, AET3 Cole Perkins knew how to act.
In the past five years, 10 Coast Guard reservists have died by suicide, an average of two a year. That percentage is lower than that of other military branches and on par with the civilian suicide rate. It’s also small enough that statisticians and health professionals have difficulty pinpointing patterns that would provide the ones left behind reliable answers or contexts.
September marks suicide awareness month. While this campaign lasts just one month every year, suicide awareness does not end on the 30th. Our commitment to each other endures year-round. We support each other in the field, and we support each other at home. If you or someone you know is struggling with one of life’s obstacles, be there for them. Together, we can and will overcome these obstacles.