​SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH

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NAVADMIN 217/17

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SUBJ/SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH//



RMKS/1.  This NAVADMIN announces September as Navy Suicide Prevention Month.  
Suicide Prevention month is not about momentary engagement, but about every 
day action.  In 2015, 1 Small ACT became the Every Sailor, Every Day campaign 
central message, encouraging all members of the Navy community to use common 
interactions as opportunities to make a difference.  A simple act of kindness 
can shine a light in the darkness and spark hope.

2.  This year, the Navy continues to use 1 Small ACT to enlist all members of 
the Navy community in the fight against suicide.  Here is some useful 
information to get involved.
    a.  New tools:  To help generate the conversation at your command, the 
Every Sailor, Every Day campaign promotes new tools that empower Sailors and 
their families to better recognize warning signs, start conversations, take 
the right actions to intervene, and practice ongoing safety.  Posters, 
graphics and tips are available in the FY-18 1 Small ACT Toolkit to help 
identify warning signs, decrease risk during times of increased stress, and 
promote new resources to help Sailors recover from psychological or emotional 
crisis.  These tools are designed not only to help others, but also to help 
yourself.  You can access the toolkit at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-
npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/suicide_prevention/spmonth/Pages/Get
-Involved.aspx.
    b.  Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life (SAIL):  SAIL continues to 
complement our existing suicide prevention programs. It is not treatment, but 
a proven effective safety net utilizing the evidence-based tools of the 
Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and the Veterans 
Administration Safety Plan.  Since the inception of SAIL in our Navy, not one 
Sailor participating in SAIL died by suicide.  Post-SAIL counseling feedback 
from several Sailors participating in the program stated it had saved their 
lives. Suicide risk is highest in the 90 days following an attempt or other 
suicide-related behavior (SRB).  The SAIL program offers a series of caring 
contacts, risk assessment and reintegration assistance following an SRB to 
promote recovery, but does not replace mental health services.  It is 
designed to bring together support and tools to provide hope, reduce risk and 
promote resilience.
    c.  Lethal Means Safety:  Firearms are the most commonly used means of 
suicide in the Navy and across the United States, due in part to their high 
lethality.  When under more stress than usual, using a gun lock on a personal 
firearm and storing it in a secured safe, separate from ammunition, can place 
enough distance and time between a Sailor and their weapon to interrupt the 
impulse for suicide and open the door for help.  Navy Suicide Prevention 
Branch, OPNAV (N171), has worked with the Veterans Affairs Department to 
provide free gun locks to Sailors and their families, available at Fleet and 
Family Support Centers and Navy Operational Support Centers.  Additionally, 
we encourage Sailors to consider storing their personal firearms during 
highly stressful periods with the help of their commands.
    d.  C-SSRS:  This evidence-based risk assessment has proven to detect 
both suicidal ideation and suicide attempt risk.  We have trained more than 
1,000 Navy attorneys, chaplains, health care providers, victim advocates and 
prevention specialists to employ this scale to refer at-risk individuals to 
appropriate care.  The C-SSRS supports suicide risk assessment through a 
series of simple, plain-language questions that anyone can ask.  The answers 
help the user identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, assess the 
severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that the 
person needs.  This tool may also help the lone independent duty corpsman or 
duty officer establish criteria or thresholds that help make decisions about 
hospitalization, counseling, referrals, or other actions that are informed by 
the yes or no answers in conjunction with other factors, such as the recency 
of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.  It is not a replacement for trained 
medical experts, but can be helpful when medical support is not readily 
available.  C-SSRS resources are available for download at:
http://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/military/.
    e.  1 Small ACT photo gallery:  The 1 Small ACT photo gallery, hosted on 
the Every Sailor, Every Day campaign Flickr page, remains open for 
submissions.  To date, Sailors and their families have contributed more than 
600 Small ACT Selfies, featuring the many ways they support their shipmates 
and themselves as individuals.  These selfies will be featured on Facebook to 
spotlight installations, units and commands.  Signs and details for
1 Small ACT are available at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers- 
npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/suicide_prevention/spmonth/Pages/1-Small-ACT-
.aspx.
    f.  Preventing suicide is an all hands evolution:  On 12 September 2017, 
at 1200 EDT, the Navy Suicide Prevention office will co-host a webinar with 
the Health Promotion and Wellness Department of the Navy and Marine Corps 
Public Health Center to share lessons learned from OPNAV (N171) annual-cross 
disciplinary case reviews.  The webinar is intended for all levels of 
leadership, suicide prevention coordinators, health promotion coordinators, 
providers, chaplains and all personnel who have frequent contact with Sailors 
who may be at increased risk of suicide.  To register, visit 
https://survey.max.gov/933674.

3.  Suicide prevention requires continuing efforts to promote health and a 
sense of community.  Use September to reenergize your commitment to 
preventing suicide all year long utilizing the above resources and evidence-
based tools.  Help change the conversation about suicide in the Navy by 
openly and honestly discussing psychological health and promoting the power 
of seeking help. Through ongoing engagement, connectedness and vigilance, we 
can be there for Every Sailor, Every Day.

4.  The Military Crisis Line offers confidential support for active duty and 
reserve Service members and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at www.militarycrisisline.net or 
send a text message to 838255.

5.  The point of contact is YNC Eric Randolph, OPNAV (N171), at (901) 874-
4227/DSN 882 or via e-mail at eric.randolph(at)navy.mil.

6.  This NAVADMIN will remain in effect until superseded or canceled, 
whichever occurs first.

7.  Released by Vice Admiral R. P. Burke, N1.//

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