NCBC amps up suicide prevention message

NCBC amps up suicide prevention message

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two sailors at the Naval Construction Battalion Center took their own lives in less than a week.

One sailor took his own life on June 10, and the second jumped off the top floor of a Gulfport parking garage five days later.

Base officials say all the resources that can help prevent suicide are there - suicide prevention is a priority at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.

But those resources - medical, mental and spiritual based - do nothing if no one reaches out.

"There are so many more now than there used to be resources available," said Paula Ingram, education services facilitator at Fleet and Family Support Center. "All we can do is inform people but we cannot make them come in."

Although personnel receive training, Ingram believes some military members are worried that reaching out may affect their career.

"They know about the resources....They've heard the training so many times, they can give it," Ingram said. "What keeps somebody from reaching out to the resources, I don't know."

Officials say the two cases are not connected in any way, but they do add to some startling numbers. Fifteen active duty Navy personnel have died by suicide in 2016, and an average of 22 veterans take their own lives every day.

Ingram says here are many stressors for military personnel and family members that are not related to the battlefield.

"We're always concerned, we're always worried, we're always afraid somebody's going to slip through the cracks. So we constantly harp on the message over, and over, and over again to do our best to make sure that doesn't happen."

Ingram notes that it is important to get help early and not lose hope.

"You are important enough," Ingram said. "You matter enough that you deserve to get the help that you need."

Suicide warnings could include changes in personality, loss of sleep, or if someone has going through a loss that to them is unbearable. One of the keys to helping a person is to engage them in conversation when something just doesn't sound right.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

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