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Lifesaving Advice: Preventing Military Suicides

Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 8:56 PM PDT
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Lifesaving Advice: Preventing Military Suicides

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Police have charged two 18-year-old Putnam men with burning several small American flags placed near a monument at Veterans Memorial Park.


September is National Suicide Prevention month. With military suicides more than doubling since 2001, Naval Medical Center San Diego offers this advice.

What to look for:

  • Distress-related behaviors
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial problems
  • Work and legal problems
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Transitions (retirement, PCS, discharge, etc.)

Major warning signs:

  • Talking about killing or harming oneself
  • Talking or writing about death or dying
  • Seeking out things that could be used to hurt oneself, such as weapons, alcohol or drugs

If you think a staff member is considering suicide, remember to ACT:

  • Ask: Are you thinking about hurting or killing yourself?
  • Care: Listen and let your shipmates know that they are not alone.
  • Treat: Get your shipmates help ASAP and never leave them alone.

(Source: Naval Medical Center San Diego)

Links to Department of Defense Resources:

Navy Suicide Prevention Web site

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255

Defense Suicide Prevention

Military One Source

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