News Release, NAVAIR News

“Suicide is a decision rarely made in one day. We have to be the turning point by taking the time to be present to people and listen to them,” Lapora Lindsey of the Fleet and Family Support Center explains at the annual “Light of Day” event in Patuxent River, Md., Aug. 29. The event kicked off National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–The sun rose at the edge of the Patuxent River on the morning of Aug. 29, heralding the start of a new day and the chance to make a fresh start.

Approximately 50 NAVAIR and Naval Air Station Patuxent River active duty and civilian employees gathered here for the annual “Light of Day” event to kick off National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month in September.

Suicide is on the rise in the Navy and in the nation overall: The U.S. suicide rate is at its highest since World War II.

Lapora Lindsey, now of the Fleet and Family Support Center, recalled answering the phone on her last day working as an ombudsman. The call was a cry for help from the wife of a military member who was contemplating suicide. Lindsey helped find her the resources to stay alive.

“Awareness: That’s why we’re here,” Naval Air Station Patuxent River Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Cox tells attendees at the “Light of Day” suicide prevention event Aug. 29 in Patuxent River, Md. “Know your folks — keep their eyes on the long view, through the ups and downs.” The event kicked off National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month at a time when suicide is at an all-time high in the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo)

“One of the most important resources is us,” she said, suggesting greeting people and asking how they are with sincerity, looking them in the eyes, smiling and listening, because “we desire being loved and appreciated.”

“Suicide is a decision rarely made in one day,” Lindsey explained. “We have to be the turning point by taking the time to be present to people and listen to them.”

Hospital Corpsman First Class Carl Poe of the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River urged people to remember suicide can occur at all ages and within all ranks and genders. Poe’s mentor, a 32-year career master chief who served with him in Iraq, committed suicide at the age of 50, causing Poe to reflect on how suicide is a sometimes silent epidemic.

“Life is simple: It’s about giving. I challenge you to give of yourself,” he said, urging attendees to be approachable and encourage dialogue among their co-workers, family, and friends to spot trouble before it occurs.

The event included inspirational tips, resources for help and upbeat music. The Patuxent River chief selects also shared quotations about kindness and encouraged attendees to spread kindness and positivity.

If you or someone you know is having trouble managing stress or considering suicide, the Department of the Navy Civilian Employee Assistance Program offers free employee assistance and work/life services to help cope. Call 1-844-DONCEAP. Active duty and veteran personnel should contact their local chaplain or the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK.

12 Ways to Wake Up and Feel Positive for the Day

  1. Set your alarm to an uplifting tune.
  2. Wake up to a clean room.
  3. Smile, regardless of how you might feel at first.
  4. Stay off social media and your cell phone.
  5. Consider what makes you happy.
  6. Be grateful.
  7. Go for a morning run.
  8. Prepare a delicious breakfast.
  9. Relax your body.
  10. Focus on breathing.
  11. Look at something beautiful.
  12. Ask yourself, “How can I make this day amazing?”

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David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...