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 prevention
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.
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.
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.
Do you feel like you are on a never-ending cookie baking, tree decorating, present wrapping, holiday party-ing, family tradition-ing rollercoaster? For some this time of year can be fun, but it can also be very overwhelming. Take a pause for few minutes, grab a cup of hot cocoa and read this twist on a favorite holiday poem to learn how CG SUPRT is ready and waiting to listen and assist.
Feeling a little off balance? CG SUPRT can assist you in making changes that help you feel more balanced and in control. Did you know that CG SUPRT offers Health and Wellness Coaching to guide you in developing new strategies to manage stress, balance your many obligations, and maintaining healthy habits. Or if you could use some emotional support for finding your balance, CG SUPRT offers Non-Medical Counseling. If financial stress is pushing you to work more or keeping you from enjoying time with your family, the CG SUPRT Personal Financial Wellness program can help you get your finances on track and prepare for your future. Or maybe you just have too many things on your plate and you feel like you could use a personal assistant. CG SUPRT Daily Living consultants can do some of the leg work for you such as locating adequate housing, jobs, education, elder care, child care, and more. Career Counselors through the CG SUPRT Spouse Education and Career Services are also available to support active duty spouses when they relocate or are ready to start a new career.
Just be there: That’s my challenge to you during Suicide Prevention Month this September. Whether you reconnect with an old friend, grab coffee with a co-worker, or email a distant family member, showing that you care can mean the world to a person who is going through a tough time.
We can all play a role in preventing suicide, but many people don’t know what they can do to support the person in their life who’s going through a difficult time. During Suicide Prevention Month this September, I encourage you to play an active role in suicide prevention by learning about available sources of support and treatment and by simply being there for people in your life.
The month of September brings three important national campaigns – National Preparedness Month, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and National Recovery Month. We encourage everyone to use this month as a time to focus on yourself and your family in terms of preparedness, as well as physical and mental health and wellness! Each Monday this month, we’ll bring you blogs that will further explain each national campaign and provide additional resources for you and your family.