united states coast guard


R 080630 SEP 17
UNCLAS //N06200//
ALCOAST 264/17
1. Suicide takes life without regard to age, income, education, social standing,
race, or gender. Overall, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans,
the 2nd leading cause of death for adults ages 25-34, and the 3rd leading cause of
death for youth ages 15-24.
2. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time when the Coast
Guard pauses to reflect on how we can do our part to prevent suicide. The theme this
year is "BE THERE. Your Action Could Save a Life”. While it’s difficult to know why
suicide occurs, we do know that by taking action when it may be uncomfortable to do
so, and by developing and maintaining family resilience, suicidal behavior can be
stopped. I encourage you to reach out to others when you see them struggling with life
challenges, or for you to reach out to others if you are facing difficulties that are
overwhelming your ability to cope on your own.
3. Too often shame or stigma prevents us from reaching out for help, even though there
are ample resources available. We must be vigilant and continually reinforce the fact
that asking for help is a sign of strength and a critical step to recovery. Remember,
your action could save a life. Coast Guard personnel and their family members will
face life challenges such as stress, depression, irresponsible use of alcohol,
financial concerns, interpersonal relationship conflicts, or mental illness at some
point in their careers; and if you face these challenges, we encourage you to reach
out for help.
4. There are numerous resources available to Coast Guard personnel and your family
members to help you remain resilient. 
   a. Call 9-1-1: If you feel someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or
others, call 9-1-1.
   b. CG SUPRT: Call 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778) at any time. This is the Coast Guard
Employee Assistance Program (EAP), available to assist active duty members, reservists,
civilian employees, and family members with a full range of issues such as financial
matters, relationship discord and other stressors that, if neglected, could lead to
more serious consequences such as depression and suicidal thoughts. You can also
visit CG SUPRT online by going to:
   c. Coast Guard medical personnel and Work-Life Employee Assistance Program
Coordinators (EAPCs) are also available to assist. Their contact information can be
found at:
   d. Chaplains are another valuable resource in the Coast Guard. Their contact
information can be found at:
or by calling 1-855-USCG-CHC (872-4242).
   e. Concerned about a Veteran or Coast Guard member who may be in emotional
distress or suicidal crisis? Call the Veterans Crisis Line at the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 and Press "1". Rather chat or text
than call? You can contact the confidential chatline at
or text to 838255.
   f. Upload the "USCG HSWL" app on your smart phone to have all the contacts and
phone numbers listed above readily available, 24/7.
5. Commanding officers are encouraged to have ongoing open and honest discussions
about the importance of asking for help. If you need assistance or notice someone
who could use a hand, do not be afraid to “Be There. Your Action Could Save a Life.”
6. For more information on this topic and other EAP issues, please contact your
local Work-Life EAPC. Alternate POCs include COMDT (CG-1111) Suicide Prevention
Program Manager, Ms. Adrienne Wright-Williams,
at (202)475-5157 or the HSWL Service Center Work-Life Division Chief,
CAPT Jerald Mahlau-Heinert, at (757)628-4795
7. RADM Erica G Schwartz, Director, Health, Safety and Work-Life, sends.
8. Internet Release Authorized.