DAHLGREN, Va –
The core of the issue is that it’s not the people who attempt suicide want to harm themselves, as much as; they simply want the pain they are currently feeling to stop, and they don’t see a way out. Sabra Mitchell, an Education Services Facilitator at Naval Air Station Oceana Fleet and Family Services spoke to employees at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dam Neck Activity (NSWCDD DNA) about the importance of suicide prevention, Dec. 15.
In her presentation, Mitchell talked to employees about how to recognize the signs that someone may be at risk for suicide. She emphasized the statement “IS PATH WARM” as a tool that could be used to help decipher whether someone is in trouble or not. Each letter in the statement, represents a potential risk factor.
In addition, Mitchell also talked about intervention and prevention. For intervention, Mitchell discussed the importance of talking and listening to someone who may be at risk. It’s ok to ask someone questions if you have concerns, but more importantly, you must take the situation seriously. Don’t judge the person and always talk to them in a positive way. For prevention, Mitchell talked about the importance of self-care. Someone who exercises regularly, eats a well-balanced diet, is socially connected, communicates, and uses resources wisely is taking the steps necessary to have a better mental mindset.
In concluding the event, Mitchell talked about the numerous resources available to people who are in need. One resource mentioned was the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that can be reached by calling or texting 9-8-8. The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has access to over 200 resources. By calling this particular hotline, an individual in need can be connected to numerous organizations without having to tell their story multiple times. This reduces the stress on the person in crisis. Mitchell also mentioned that there were several resources in the community for help including churches and support groups.
At the end of the presentation, NSWCDD DNA Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Christina Carino came on stage to thank Mitchell for taking the time to speak with employees about this important topic. In addition, she emphasized that her door was always open for anyone, military or civilian, that needed to talk.
Suicide is a “global-people” issue that affects all of us. The underlying issues maybe complex, but basic prevention and intervention is not.