Navy Expands Suicide Prevention Program Service-Wide

by February 17, 2017 • Breaking NewsComments (0) 62

The program began as a pilot in the Pacific Northwest, but now is being implemented across the Navy.

The Navy has rolled out a program aimed at providing added support for sailors considered at risk for suicide.

Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life, or SAIL, was announced service-wide earlier this month and is now available at all Fleet and Family Support Center locations.

The voluntary program works by linking sailors who have demonstrated suicidal behavior with Fleet and Family Support Center counselors trained in assessing suicide risk. Those counselors remain in contact with the participant for three months, said Capt. Michael Fisher, director of the Navy Suicide Prevention Branch. They can help identify stressors, like financial issues, and link the sailor with resources, he said.

Participation in SAIL is not intended to replace therapy. “A caring contact is all it is,” Fisher said.

SAIL is patterned after the Marine Corps’ Marine Intercept Program, which began in 2014. A pilot of the Navy’s version began in August in the Pacific Northwest. At least 91 sailors accepted SAIL’s services out of 175 referrals between Aug. 28 and Feb. 3, according to Navy data.

 

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