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MCCS livens up suicide awareness with entertaining briefs

By Pfc. Dustin M. Rawls | | January 9, 2002

Suicide is a far too common tragedy that occurs in today's society. Everyone from high school students to MarinesĀ  can be affected by it.

Committing suicide is not something that is only considered by those who are bad off or by those who never have anything go right said Maria S. Norwood, Semper Fit health promotions.

Suicide awareness briefings have been held at the Sonoran Pueblo for leaders on station. The briefings are to educate Marines on what to look for, said Norwood.

Norwood said, not only were there speakers at the briefings, but music videos were shown by artists such as Eminem and Pink to connect senior Marines with what many of the junior Marines are hearing and seeing about suicide. There was also a skit on suicide awareness done by Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron-371 called "Hillbillies Have Problems Too."

Many times a person can have a seemingly perfect life and still be provoked to commit suicide, said Norwood.

Knowing that suicide can happen to anyone is a large part of suicide awareness, said Norwood.

The Marine Corps has ordered that Marines get educated in suicide awareness. Preventing suicides is a responsibility that all should take on.

Being able to recognize causes of suicidal thoughts is a huge tool in suicide prevention, said Norwood.

There are three main causes of suicide, said Norwood.

"Most people contemplating suicide are having relationship problems, problems at work or financial problems, said Cmdr. Kal McAlexander, chaplain, Marine Aircraft Group-13.

Recognition of suicide warning signs is also key.

"Eighty percent of suicide victims show some kind of warning sign," said Norwood.

Unusual behavior can many times be a big sign of depression and suicidal thoughts.

If a fellow Marine who usually works hard and is energetic about his work begins to slack off and blow off duties, he could need someone to talk to.

Signs can include reckless behavior, lashing out, sleeping a lot and many more, said Norwood.

"The main thing is to know your Marines and pay attention to them," said Norwood.

A common mistake in suicide prevention is not listening to what someone says.

Many times a person will outright say, "I am going to kill myself," said Norwood. In many of those cases, the person will not be taken seriously.

If someone does say that he or she is going to commit suicide don't let that person be alone.

"The first question you should ask them is, 'how are you going to do it,' and if they have a plan, they are serious," said Norwood.

Suicide is a problem that is present everywhere, and the Marine Corps is not untouched by the tragedy. Suicide awareness should not be taken lightly.

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