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CNE-CNA/C6F Provides Sailors with Suicide Awareness

October 3, 2017 at 12:15 PM UTC
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet’s (CNE-CNA/C6F) suicide prevention team made personal visits to all departments during their ”I Will Campaign,” a three-part Suicide Prevention Month event, Sept. 25-29, 2017.

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 “We are trying to make sure that every Sailor sees that this command is a family,” said Yeoman 1st Class Silvia Raya. ”We spend long hours here. We need to have a support and families support each other, our family protects each other. That is one of our end goals, that we take care of each other as a family.”

‘Time Out’ initiative, the first event, encouraged personnel to take time and de-stress themselves by walking away from their desks and stepping outside for fresh air.

“I think a lot of stress that brings down the staff and young Sailors operating in the command is the inability for someone to take time for themselves and decompress somewhere that’s outside the office,” said Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Derek Arnold. “This initiative is for sailors to come out have a place to just relax and decompress for 15-20 minutes and be out of the office in some capacity.”

Their second event is designed to reach the personnel who can’t participate in the ‘Time Out’ initiative due to workload and or schedule. The Suicide Prevention Team hand delivered candy and other treats as part of their ‘Make Your Day Sweeter’ initiative.

Arnold said the idea was to just be a smiling face and bring a bit of joy and laughter to the many offices in the building, sweetening the deal with a treat.

The final part, ‘1 Small Act’ and ‘Every Sailor, Everyday’ gave CNE-CNA/C6F personnel the opportunity to pledge themselves by taking a picture with a message they wrote which was then attached to the ‘Tree of Life’ to show command solidarity, and to serve as a visual representation of their commitment to each other.

“It’s about building a resilient command, building resilient sailors and establishing a foundation that’s visible to let everybody know, hey, we’re together and we’re going to fight suicide at every level,” said Arnold. “We’re trying to have a tree that really represents the level of support that we gained with this campaign and that will show all the pledges we have to be there for the sailors,”

The Suicide Prevention Team plans to continue throughout the year to reach all the commands of U.S. 6th Fleet.

“We want to bring awareness to the command against suicide where nobody feels they can’t talk about it,” said Arnold. “They can always reach out to anyone in the command and get help; someone is there to listen and to help them work through whatever they are going through. If I can do that and make a command where we can freely and openly talk to one another and realize that we all carry the same water, we can all spread it out. It’s okay to be stressed, it’s okay to be frustrated because we’ve got you to help you through your toughest times then I think I’m doing the right thing.”

Visit https://go.usa.gov/xRsgJ for more information and resources.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, visit your local Fleet and Family Support Center (629-6372), or call the Military Crisis Line or Military OneSource.  Chaplains (626-3539), Corpsmen, and healthcare professionals at your MTF or branch clinic (Mental Health:  626-6306) can also provide help.  CNE/CNE/C6F Suicide Prevention Assistant Coordinator: YN1(IW) Silvia Raya (626-2062).