united states coast guard

R 090711 SEP 19
ALCOAST 288/19
1. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The 2019 campaign theme
"Small Steps Save Lives", focuses on the small changes service members and their families
can make for a safer home and life. The majority of military suicide deaths involve a firearm.
In addition, medications are the most common method of non-fatal suicide attempts.
"Small Steps Save Lives" puts the emphasis on intentional and safe habits and healthy practices.
The tagline, "Make it Your Mission to #BeThere," reinforces that leaders, service members and
their network of support all have a role in supporting suicide prevention.
2. Suicide is a serious public health problem that has lasting harmful effects on individuals,
families and communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017,
suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of over
47,000 Americans. In this same period, there were more than twice as many suicides in the United
States as there were homicides. The Coast Guard's focus is on efforts to minimize suicide risk
factors and promote wellness and social cohesion.
3. There are numerous resources available to help CG active duty members, reservists, civilian
employees and family members who are in need of assistance:
   a. Call 911: If you feel someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others,
call 911 without hesitation.
   b. CG SUPRT: Call 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778) at any time. This is the CG Employee Assistance
Program (EAP), available to assist active duty members, reservists, civilian employees, and
family members with a full range of issues, including 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. CG 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. Their contact information can be found
at: or by calling 1-855-USCG-CHC (872-4242).
   e. Concerned about a Veteran or CG member who may be in emotional distress or suicidal crisis?
If you would rather chat or text, a confidential chat is available at: The Veterans Crisis Line is available at (800) 273-8255 and
Press 1, or text 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.
4. CG leaders are encouraged to have ongoing, open and honest discussions about the importance
of safe habits and practices, including safe storage of firearms and medications. All Coast
Guard Family members are reminded to #BeThere for fellow Shipmates, as we may all experience
times of need at one point or another.
5. For more information on this topic and other EAP issues, please contact your local Work-Life
EAPC. Alternate POCs include the HSWL Service Center Work-Life Division Chief,
CAPT Jerald Mahlau-Heinert, at (757) 628-4795 or COMDT (CG-1111)
Employee Assistance Program Manager, Ms. Christiana Montminy,
at (202) 475-5156.
6. RADM D.L. Thomas, Director of Health, Safety and Work-Life, sends.
7. Internet release is authorized.