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    Talking about suicide is not easy

    Talking about suicide is not easy

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak | Not talking about suicide won't make it go away... read more read more

    When I was 11 years old, my mom asked me if I would hate her if she took her own life. I doubt I understood the question then. I think over the years she attempted to commit suicide, but I know she thought about it many times. I watched my mom’s struggle every day and I tried to understand her. My mom passed away six years later from suffering a lifetime of incurable illness, combined with depression.
    Over the years, I’ve learned that many of my childhood and high school friends, some of my relatives and even work colleagues have committed suicide. The first question after finding out the news has always been “Why?”, when it should have been “How could these tragedies have been prevented?”.
    Because I have been affected by suicide, I wish I could help those who feel like there is no other way. We all have different problems, disappointments, feelings of loneliness, financial problems and an array of other issues that are overwhelming, and I am no one to judge. Some people have better support systems than others. Some of us just want to be heard, or have someone to talk to.
    Recently, I have taken workshops, such as safeTalk and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), both of which were offered by Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC). These programs help to prepare someone to become a suicide-alert helper. They teach participants how to provide guidance and suicide first aid to a person at risk.
    I hope I won’t ever have to use any of my newly-learned skills, but I want to make sure I know how to properly deal with this kind of situation. I want to make sure I know what to say, what to do and what my resources are.
    I believe every Sailor has been told by now that they can talk to any military chaplain, who are bound by law to be 100 percent confidential, even if they just want to talk about their troubles. Non-medical counselors at FFSC are another great resource, and there is always www.militaryonesource.mil which is also confidential. In the moment of crisis, www.veteranscrisisline.net has chat, text and a crisis line available. Military personnel have access to many resources when dealing with thoughts of suicide, before they become acts.
    A couple of weeks ago, I shot a video interview for Suicide Prevention Month with Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Miranda, Suicide Prevention Program Manager at Military and Family Support Center for Navy Region Hawaii, and she brought up a great point about suicide stigma in the military:
    “Most of the time, people are not going to get kicked out of the Navy just because they are struggling and need help,” she said. “Our goal is to get you the help you need and get you back in the fight.”
    Miranda talked about trying to tackle problems while they are still small, because they are more manageable. She said that getting mental help shouldn’t be any different than getting, let’s say, help with a broken bone.
    “You might need immediate treatment and maybe some physical therapy, but once you are healed, you are ready to get back on track.”
    Navy statistics say that for one suicide, there are 115 people affected. Now, that is something to think about.
    I think we need to talk about the problem of suicide openly, even though it is not easy or comfortable, and stop shaming people for having thoughts and needing help. We need to be there for each other, and sometimes, all it takes is to listen.

    “Your job is not to judge.

    Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something.

    Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken and to heal the hurting.”

    - Dalai Lama

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.27.2017
    Date Posted: 09.27.2017 18:06
    Story ID: 249840
    Location: PEARL HARBOR, HI, US 

    Web Views: 175
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