Suicide Prevention

I’ve been a proud member of the U.S. Navy for almost 14 years.  One of the many things I love about the Navy is the forward-thinking ethos when it comes to training.  We constantly train, on everything from Sexual Assault prevention and reporting to Financial Health, but one of the topics that hit home with me is Suicide Prevention.

Every year we discuss suicide awareness and prevention, especially around this time of year with the holidays rapidly approaching.  While the majority of people look forward to the holidays and spending time with family and friends, some people see it as a depressing time and the suicide rate tends to increase.  That’s why it’s imperative to be able to recognize the warning signs.

In my civilian job I am a law enforcement officer.  In that capacity I often times must respond to scenes where someone has taken their own life.  I recently went to a home where a person had done so and in speaking to the neighbors, they each gave me tail tail signs of an impending disaster.  They each thought that the person may be thinking of committing suicide yet no one said or did anything to help.  Now, are they criminally liable for not helping intervene? No, but personally, I would feel horrible if I were them.

So, as we approach the holidays, please be mindful of your neighbors and those who are near and dear to you.  Look for the warning signs and don’t be scared to ask the hard questions.  When it comes to life and death, it’s no time to sugar coat things or pass warning signs off as being silly.  Get help for the person.

I’m going to add some links here to help you learn more about the warning signs and what to do but remember, if someone makes comments about a loss of hope or ending it all, call 911 and get them some help.


Navy Suicide Prevention

Warning Signs

Life is Worth Living

Navy Stress Control

The Jetton Family

A message to my fellow law enforcement and sailor friends:

Sheila Jetton is a friend and co-worker of mine.  She is a police officer with the Chattanooga Police Department and she is also a Second Class Petty Officer in the Navy Reserves.  The below email was written by our Navy Ombudsman and gives more details then I ever could.

“Sheila Jetton is a member of NOSC Chattanooga.  She is also a proud mother to a beautiful baby girl named Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was born  on Dec 30th, 2009.   She has been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary interstitial glycogenosis, abnornal lung growth, failure to thrive, global developmental delays, inominiate artery syndrome, and a neuronal migration disorder.  While Elizabeth lives with her mom and dad in Chattanooga, they are currently in Tx at a children’s hospital waiting and hoping for a lung transplant.   Elizabeth is about the happiest baby you could ever hope to meet, and she doesn’t let her fierce battle against these life threatening conditions break her smile at all.  She just  celebrated her first birthday, and with our help, and God’s help, she can celebrate many more!
As you can imagine, this family is facing tremendous odds right now.  On top of medical expenses, there are the travel expenses to and from hospitals, some hospitals being hundreds of miles away from where the family lives.  There are also the normal day to day living expenses that we all incur.
There are several ways you can help this family, the most important being to lift them up in prayer.  Other ways you can help them are: donate to any SunTrust Bank, under the Elizabeth Jetton Trust.  There are also several fundraisers for Elizabeth coming up.  The one this week will be held Thurs, Jan 6th, at 6pm at Middle Valley Church Of God.  It’s 5 dollars per person, and that will include a spaghetti dinner, along with dessert.  There will also be a silent auction held at the dinner.  As I get more information on future fundraisers for Elizabeth I will pass them along.  Below are links to Elizabeth’s Caringbridge website, and a link to an interview on Channel 3 WRCB, which featured a story on little Elizabeth and her brave battle.”