Suicide Prevention Month

Florida Guard Family:

September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, and serves to remind everyone in our military community to watch out for each other.  We have lost members of our Florida Guard Team to suicide in the past, and in almost every situation, the individuals exhibited signs that something was wrong…signs that may have helped others prevent these tragedies.

Relationship issues, legal and financial worries and job-related stress are all contributing factors linked to suicide.  Take the opportunity this month to educate yourself and others with helpful facts regarding suicide prevention.  One of the best ways to prevent suicide is through early detection and intervention.  The Defense Suicide Prevention Office is an outstanding resource to make yourself aware of warning signs and appropriate responses.  I urge you to visit their website at: http://www.suicideoutreach.org.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or exhibiting warning signs, don’t hesitate to call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or Text 838255.  This service is confidential and is available 24/7.

For local support, both the Florida Army and Air National Guard (FLARNG) also have professionals standing-by to assist 24/7.   The FLNG has two Directors of Psychological Health (DPH) who can be contacted in a confidential manner for assistance in getting connected with free support services:

– Florida Army National Guard: Mr. Jim Smalenski (james.j.smalenski.ctr@mail.mil, 904-823-0219)

– Florida Air National Guard: Ms. Renate Donghia (renate.donghia.ctr@ang.af.mil, 904-741-7006).

I urge you to take time this month to educate yourself and potentially save someone’s life.

 

Emmett R. Titshaw Jr.
Major General
The Adjutant General of Florida