September is suicide prevention month, and I received a note from Paul, a Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard with some good information attached. Here are some excerpts from an all-Coast Guard note from the Commandant:
The reasons people think of suicide as a solution are complex. Signs and symptoms include withdrawal, anger, mood changes, feeling trapped or hopeless, and loss of life’s meaning.
If you notice these changes in yourself, family members, or coworkers, take action. If it is you, know that it is OK to not be OK. Get help. If you see these changes in another, talk to the person openly about their behaviors and your concern. ASK the question: Are you thinking about killing yourself? CARE– by letting the person express his or her feelings. LISTEN– do not preach or condemn the feelings. ESCORT– the person to the nearest source of help. Do not leave the person alone if you suspect he or she is suicidal. Every effort must be made to ensure the person’s safety.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK, and you can call at any time. Speak with someone who can help you talk about your situation and identify resources. If you are in the Coast Guard, you can call 855-CGSUPRT (855-247-8778).
But call someone – a chaplain, your boss, a coworker…anyone.