WASHINGTON (NNS) – August 27, 2015 — While September is Suicide Prevention Month, subject matter experts from the 21st Century Sailor Office’s Suicide Prevention Office, OPNAV N171, say their goal isn’t to prevent suicide on just a single day or month, but every day of the year.
“Every life is precious, and the fight is year-round,” said Capt. Mike Fisher, OPNAV N171 director. “We want people engaged with their shipmates every day of the year. We’re talking about being there for every Sailor, every day.”
This year, Suicide Prevention Month will focus on a new message with its Every Sailor, Every Day campaign, “1 Small ACT.” The message promotes simple, everyday actions that can ultimately save lives, using Navy’s “ACT” (Ask Care Treat) bystander intervention model.
Last week, the Navy Suicide Prevention office released a toolkit to help Navy commands and Sailors engage in the fight to prevent suicide. This toolkit features educational resources, high-resolution graphics, and ideas for actions to take during September and year-round.
Also in the toolkit are engagement ideas to promote peer support, personal wellness and bystander intervention all year long. One way to get involved as an individual or organization is to participate in the “1 Small ACT” Photo Gallery. Participants can print the “1 Small ACT” sign directly from the toolkit or online, personalize it with their example of a small act that they can perform in a shipmate’s life, and then send a photo with the sign to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will also be accepted through the Real Warriors mobile app, which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
“We want to highlight people across the fleet as they share their ideas for supporting their shipmates and promoting psychological health,” Fisher said. “You never know when that everyday action – a kind word, an offer to help – will make the big difference in someone’s life.”
The “1 Small ACT” Photo Gallery will be displayed on the Navy Suicide Prevention Office’s Operational Stress Control Facebook page, building a virtual wall of hope for the entire Navy community. Submissions will be accepted from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2016.