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September is National Suicide Prevention Month

National Suicide Prevention Month

(Courtesy graphic)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

September is Suicide Prevention Month.  It is a time when the DoD brings added attention to the complex issue of suicide and emphasizes the valuable resources and support available year-round.

This year’s theme, “Connect to Protect: Support Is Within Reach,” highlights the critical role relationships and interpersonal connections to family, friends, the community, and resources can play in preventing suicide.

“Studies have shown that connectedness is the number one protective factor against suicide,” said Dr. Wendy Blevins, Eglin’s violence prevention integrator.  “I highly encourage the base community to reach out to each other.”

Research indicates that connectedness is a factor that can reduce the likelihood someone will consider or attempt suicide. Social connections that individuals can count on and a sense of belongingness can be protective factors against suicide.

At the same time, loneliness and feeling like a burden can increase the risk for suicide for some individuals.  This year’s theme emphasizes connections with others and the community, as well as with suicide prevention resources.  Each of us needs to focus on how we can “Connect to Protect” service members, veterans, DoD civilians and their families, and show that support is readily available.

Blevins encouraged the base community to be present and aware, and if they see something, say something and do something.