Suicide prevention = A community responsibility

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- "Preventing suicide is everyone's business," said Pamela S. Hyde, an administrator of U. S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "As members of a family, a school, business, neighbors in a community, faith communities, friends, and the government, we all need to work together to solve this problem. We simply can no longer allow those we live, work, and play with to believe that suicide is the only solution even in the worst of times."

Throughout the United States, local communities will observe National Suicide Prevention Week during Sept. 9-15, 2012.

SAMHSA supports the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline is a free, 24-hour hot line available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the crisis center closest to the caller. The phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A person at risk for suicidal behavior will often exhibit warning signs:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill himself/herself. 
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary. 
  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use. 
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life.
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society.
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge.
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking.
  • Dramatic mood changes.
If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional, local MH clinic or hospital emergency room, or calling 9-1-1.

To assist Hurlburt Field commanders, first sergeants, leaders, supervisors and wingmen in promoting suicide awareness and prevention, the Hurlburt Field Mental Health Services Flight provides a wide range of prevention education, outreach, evaluation, treatment and referral services to active-duty members.

"When suicidal intent or risk is detected early, lives can be saved," said U.S. Public Health Services Lt. Cmdr. Sean Bennett, Suicide Prevention Program manager with 1st Special Operations Medical Operation Squadron.

The MHS Flight is located on the 2nd floor of the Hurlburt Field Clinic, and its staff can be reached at 881-4237. Family members of active-duty personnel should contact TriCare-partner Value Options at (800) 700-8646 for information and assistance in obtaining behavioral health evaluation and treatment services.