News: Marine Intercept Program: continuing care
Story by Cpl. Sarah Cherry
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - The Marine Corps announced the Marine Intercept Program in Marine Administrative Message 073/14, Feb. 21.
The Marine Intercept Program goes hand-in-hand with the Suicide Prevention Program, providing follow-up care and counseling for Marines who have attempted suicide or had suicidal ideations.
This program is not intended to replace the current standardized reporting systems in place for suicide, attempts and ideations. The program supports commanders by making sure Marines receive care following suicidal behavior to give them a better chance of recovery.
“We’re here to be that friendly voice and say we’re here if you need us,” said Shari Mattis-Alcorn, head of Marine Corps Community Services’ behavioral health division for the Tri-Command.
MCCS Community Counseling Program, part of the Behavioral Health Branch, develops a comprehensive recovery care plan by working with the unit and medical providers.
“CCP counselors will strongly encourage Marines to accept services,” said Brig. Gen. Russell Sanborn, director of Marine and Family Programs Division in MARADMIN 073/14. “Staying engaged in caring services can prevent future thought and behaviors of suicide, but the acceptance of services is not mandatory.”
Marine Corps commanders are required to give the CCP contact information for Marines and sailors following a suicidal ideation or attempt to make sure they do not fall through potential gaps in care services
“Across the military, data is suggesting that those individuals who have thoughts of suicide or have made actual attempts of suicide are much more likely to complete it at a later time,” said Mattis-Alcorn. “This program has been initiated so that we can continue to provide services after primary care is discontinued.”
The CCP must be able to contact Marines and sailors to intervene and provide care and reintegration assistance. CCP counselors address safety concerns and can help coordinate care services.
Mattis-Alcorn said it can be a relief for the command to know the CCP and behavioral health are involved.
“We’re an additional support,” she said. “You have another person standing with you to provide resources ensuring that your Marine is good to go.”