SUICIDE PREVENTION QUARTERLY UPDATE

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R 180016Z FEB 10
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NAVADMIN 054/10

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SUBJ/SUICIDE PREVENTION QUARTERLY UPDATE//



REF/A/DOC/OPNAVINST 1720.4A/04AUG2009//
REF/B/DOC/OPNAVINST F3100.6J/22DEC2009//
REF/C/MSG/NAVADMIN 122/09//

NARR/REF A ESTABLISHES THE NAVY SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM AND DIRECTS 
COLLECTION OF DATA ON NAVY SUICIDES.  REFS B AND C DIRECT THE REPORTING 
OF SUICIDES AND SUICIDE RELATED BEHAVIORS VIA THE OPREP-3 REPORTING 
SYSTEM.//

1.  WE HAVE DEVELOPED THIS QUARTERLY UPDATE AS A TOOL FOR ALL HANDS IN 
ADDRESSING THE CRITICAL TOPIC OF SUICIDE PREVENTION.  IT IS IMPORTANT 
TO RECOGNIZE THAT SUICIDE PREVENTION IS AN ALL HANDS EVOLUTION - 
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ISSUE, FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE RESOURCES 
AVAILABLE, AND SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH YOUR FAMILY IN ORDER TO 
STRENGTHEN OUR SUICIDE PREVENTION NETWORK.  BY IMPROVING AWARENESS OF 
THIS ISSUE AND ELIMINATING MISPERCEPTIONS, WE AIM TO REMOVE THE 
BARRIERS THAT STOP OUR PEOPLE FROM SEEKING THE SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO 
THEM.

2.  CY 2009 SUICIDE STATISTICS.  PRELIMINARY REPORTS INDICATE WE LOST
48 ACTIVE DUTY SAILORS AND SIX SELECTIVE RESERVE SAILORS (NOT IN A DUTY 
STATUS) TO SUICIDE.  THESE TRAGEDIES IMPACT ALL DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS 
ACROSS ALL COMMUNITIES.

3.  SUICIDE RELATED BEHAVIOR.  THE 2008 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SURVEY OF 
HEALTH RELATED BEHAVIORS AMONG ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL ESTIMATES 
THAT 5 PERCENT OF ACTIVE DUTY SAILORS SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED SUICIDE 
WITHIN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, AND 2.8 PERCENT OF SAILORS ENGAGED IN 
BEHAVIOR THAT THEY REPORTED TO BE A SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  SINCE REF C 
CHANGED SITREP/OPREP REQUIREMENTS TO REPORT IDEATIONS, GESTURES AND 
ATTEMPTS AS ONE BROADER AND OVERARCHING CATEGORY OF SUICIDE RELATED 
BEHAVIORS, WE HAVE SEEN APPROXIMATELY 120 MESSAGE REPORTS PER MONTH.
MOST SUICIDE RELATED BEHAVIOR MESSAGES REFLECT ACTIONS CONSISTENT WITH 
ANNUAL SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING - WHERE SAILORS REACHED OUT AND 
RECEIVED HELP FOR THEMSELVES, OR WHERE LEADERS, SHIPMATES OR FAMILY 
MEMBERS NOTED SUICIDE STRESS FACTORS AND OTHER SIGNS OF  CONCERN AND 
GOT INVOLVED TO HELP A SAILOR GET NEEDED SUPPORT.

4.  ELIMINATING THE STIGMA.  WE LEARNED FROM THE 2009 BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 
QUICK POLL THAT MANY SAILORS EXPECT NEGATIVE CAREER CONSEQUENCES IF 
THEY SEEK HELP FOR STRESS REACTIONS OR SUICIDAL IDEAS.  IT IS IMPORTANT 
TO NOTE THAT MANY TYPES OF PERSONAL COUNSELING NEED NOT EVEN BE 
REPORTED ON THE SF86 QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY POSITIONS.  
SELF REFERRAL FOR MENTAL HEALTH SHOULD BE VIEWED AS DEMONSTRATING GOOD 
JUDGMENT AND RELIABILITY.
MOST OFTEN, ONLY WHEN FAILURE TO GET ASSISTANCE LEADS TO SUBSTANCE 
ABUSE, DISCIPLINARY INFRACTIONS, OR SUBSTANTIAL DEBT ARE CLEARANCES OR 
CAREERS IN JEOPARDY.  THE NAVY IS EXAMINING WAYS TO ELIMINATE THIS 
MISCONCEPTION AND OTHER POTENTIAL BARRIERS TO USING NEEDED 
PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES THAT HINDER SUCCESSFUL REINTEGRATION OF THE 
SAILOR INTO THE COMMAND AND BACK ON A SUCCESSFUL CAREER TRACK.

5.  OPERATIONAL STRESS CONTROL (OSC).  OSC IS BECOMING THE CORNERSTONE 
FOR ALL OUR FUTURE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND READINESS EFFORTS (INCLUDING 
SUICIDE PREVENTION).  THIS HOLISTIC APPROACH IS DESIGNED TO BUILD R 
ESILIENCE AND PREPARE SAILORS, AND THE ENTIRE NAVY FAMILY, TO BEST 
ADAPT TO, AND NAVIGATE THROUGH, STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENTS.  NAVY IS 
INCORPORATING OSC TRAINING AND EDUCATION INTO THE TRAINING CONTINUUM 
STARTING AT ALL ACCESSION POINTS (BOTH OFFICER AND ENLISTED) AND 
CONTINUING AT EVERY LEADERSHIP STEP THROUGHOUT A NAVY CAREER.

6.  EDUCATING BEYOND THE LIFELINES.  IN 2010, WE ARE FOCUSING ON 
IMPROVING FAMILY OUTREACH, OPTIMIZING THE INTERFACE BETWEEN COMMAND 
LEADERSHIP AND MEDICAL TREATMENT PROVIDERS, AND CONTINUING TO BUILD A 
NETWORK OF TRAINED SUICIDE PREVENTION COORDINATORS.  OFTEN FAMILY 
MEMBERS ARE THE FIRST TO NOTICE A CONCERN; SO, WE MUST EDUCATE OUR 
FAMILIES ON WARNING SIGNS, RISK FACTORS FOR SUICIDE AND HOW TO ACCESS 
HELPFUL RESOURCES.  WE ALSO NEED TO DEVELOP THE RELATIONSHIPS AND 
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COMMANDS AND FAMILIES BEFORE A CRISIS OCCURS.  WE 
WILL BE PROVIDING STATE OF THE ART TRAINING IN ASSESSING AND MANAGING 
SUICIDE RISK TO ALL OF OUR MENTAL HEALTH PERSONNEL, WITH TRAINING 
PLANNED AT ALL OF OUR HOSPITALS AND LARGE CLINICS.  WE WILL BE 
EXAMINING BEST PRACTICES AND PROCESSES FOR BALANCING PRIVACY WITH 
SAFETY IN COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN MEDICAL PROVIDERS AND COMMAND LEADERS.  
OUR MOST EFFECTIVE SUICIDE PREVENTION ULTIMATELY OCCURS AT THE LOCAL 
LEVEL - PERSON TO PERSON.  AWARENESS, SKILLS AND RESOURCES AT THE 
DECKPLATES SAVES LIVES, AND THE SUICIDE PREVENTION COORDINATOR
(SPC) NETWORK SUPPORTS PUTTING THE TOOLS IN PLACE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL 
FOR ALL OF US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

7.  COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY.  COMMANDERS MUST ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH REF 
A WHICH MOST HAVE DONE BY APPOINTING AND PROVIDING TRAINING FOR THEIR 
COMMAND SPC, WRITING A COMMAND CRISIS RESPONSE PLAN, AND ARE ENSURING 
THAT INNOVATIVE TRAINING AND RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO THEIR SAILORS.

8.  LOCAL SPC TRAINING.  IN 2010, SPC TRAINING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED 
FOR 24-25 FEBRUARY IN PENSACOLA, FL; 17-24 MARCH IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST 
LOCATIONS; 30-31 MARCH IN GROTON, CT; 20-21 APRIL IN GULFPORT, MS; 10-
11 MAY IN SIGONELLA, IT; 13-14 MAY IN NAPLES, IT;
17-18 MAY IN ROTA, SP; 01-10 JUNE IN JAPAN; 8-9 JUN IN PORT HUENEME, CA; 
AND, 26-30 JULY IN SAN DIEGO, CA.  ADDITIONAL SITES WILL BE ADDED 
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND SCHEDULES POSTED ON WWW.SUICIDE.NAVY.MIL.

9.  SPC TRAINING CONFERENCE.  THE NAVY WILL EXTEND THE REACH AND IMPACT 
OF THE SPC NETWORK WITH A FULLY FUNDED NAVY SUICIDE 
PREVENTIONCOORDINATOR TRAINING CONFERENCE IN NORFOLK, VA, 22-24 JUNE 
2010. TRAVEL FUNDS WILL BE PROVIDED TO ENSURE ALL MAJOR COMMANDS AND 
ALL INSTALLATIONS HAVE SUICIDE PREVENTION COORDINATORS WITH ENHANCED 
TRAINING FOR MENTORING OTHER SPCS AT SUBORDINATE OR LOCAL TENANT 
COMMANDS.  DETAILS WILL BE ANNOUNCED VIA A SEPARATE NAVADMIN.

10.  PREVENTING SUICIDE IN THE NAVY IS A LEADERSHIP AND READINESS ISSUE 
AND CONTINUES TO BE ONE OF THE HIGHEST PRIORITIES FOR NAVY LEADERSHIP.  
EVERY SINGLE SUICIDE LOSS IS A TRAGEDY WITH FAR REACHING IMPACT TO THE 
HEALTH AND READINESS OF OUR ENTIRE NAVY COMMUNITY.  NO ONE IS IMMUNE.

11.  RESOURCES AND INFORMATION ARE AVAILABLE AT MILITARY ONESOURCE, 
800-342-9647, WWW.MILITARYONESOURCE.COM; NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION 
LIFELINE, 800-273-8255, WWW.SUICIDEPREVENTIONLIFELINE.ORG; AND, NAVY  
SUICIDE PREVENTION, WWW.SUICIDE.NAVY.MIL.

12.  POC IS LCDR BONNIE CHAVEZ, OPNAV (N135F), AT
(901) 874-6613/DSN 882, OR EMAIL AT BONNIE.CHAVEZ(AT)NAVY.MIL.

13.  RELEASED BY VADM MARK FERGUSON, N1.//

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