New tools for Suicide Prevention Month and beyond

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Mark Bonner, vice president of the Pearl Harbor Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions chapter, participates in a Suicide Prevention Month gate awareness event at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 24, 2015. Photo by MC2 Johans Chavarro

Navy Operational Stress Control Program

Navy Suicide Prevention Month is not just a 30-day blitz of suicide prevention efforts; it is the starting point for year-long conversations on how to be there for Every Sailor, Every Day (ESED).

This September, the ESED campaign will continue to lead the charge for the Navy’s year-long suicide prevention efforts, promoting healthy behaviors, active engagement and open conversation through its popular 1S mall ACT message.

Over the next month, ESED will introduce new concepts and tools to enhance Sailors’ abilities to recognize risk factors, navigate stress, stay safe during high-stress times and understand the importance of seeking help.

One of those new tools is the FY-19 1 Small ACT Toolkit that provides resources to support local suicide prevention engagement.

This year ‘s toolkit became available by mid-August and digitally distributed to suicide prevention coordinators and other gatekeepers who have subscribed to the Navy Suicide Prevention Branch’s email distribution list.

It is available to download year-round on www.suicide.navy.mil. All toolkit content aligns to the ESED campaign’s FY-19 focus areas.

These areas include various ways to engage in self-care, practice lethal means safety during times of increased stress and empower Sailors to feel comfortable seeking help without fear of judgement or impacts to their security clearance eligibility.

The FY-19 1 Small ACT Toolkit is a one-stop shop for messages and materials to strengthen local engagement. It contains posters, digital graphics, sharable facts, social media messages, plan of the week notes, event ideas and other materials that can be used in September and throughout the new fiscal year.

As one of the most popular tools in each year’s toolkit, the new 30 Days of Small ACTs calendar features simple ways for Sailors to be there for themselves and others.

It offers a practical tip each day, helping Sailors build positive coping mechanisms and self-care into their routines, such as mindfulness, journaling and starting conversations with others. You can print and display this calendar in high-traffic areas and even repurpose daily tips as plan of the day notes. Or give Sailors a chance at some friendly competition by hosting a 30 Days of Small ACTs challenge that pushes them to engage in as many small ACTs as possible during the month.

The tools in this tool-kit — along with popular existing ESED materials — are not only helpful resources for Suicide Prevention Month but can be used to continue dialogue and engagement throughout the year.

Use the campaign’s “Sailors on the Street” YouTube videos as ice-breakers for small group discussions on healthy stress navigation.

Plan group physical fitness activities like a fun run or a yoga class to help Sailors beat stress head-on. And, of course, pair these activities with useful information and resources on social media.

Work with your command and/or installation public affairs office to promote Suicide Prevention Month and ongoing ESED content on social media using the #1SmallACT hashtag.

Stay connected with Navy Suicide Prevention Branch’s ESED campaign throughout the year. Access resources on www.suicide.navy.mil > Every Sailor, Every Day > Get Involved, and find useful tips for navigating stress on the blog. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Small ACT can make a difference. Be there for Every Sailor, Every Day.

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Category: News