Tag Archives: Navy

Suicide Prevention Awareness…Beyond September

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—but we must maintain healthy lives year-round. Long before suicidal thoughts occur, feelings of hopelessness, irreversible failure and/or a lack of belonging set in. Those thoughts may overshadow our perception of our own strength, and evolve into a struggle that seems increasingly difficult to overcome.

That’s why—not only as Sailors, but as leaders, shipmates, family and friends—we must unite to provide a sense of appreciation and belonging. Telling just 3 people why they make a difference in your life can be just as uplifting to you as it is to them. These small seeds of hope can have a powerfully positive effect—letting others know they are an important part of our lives. This is just one of the “Seven Everyday Ways” we can promote emotional health at any time of year.

Commands can take action too. Now, with new resources available and while discussion of suicide prevention at the forefront,  it’s  a good  time to update your Crisis Response Plan (CRP) and run a drill to check its effectiveness. The Commanding Officer’s Tool Kit for Suicide Prevention is an excellent resource to jumpstart and tailor your command’s CRP.

Individuals can practice preparedness as well. With a partner (shipmate, family member, or anyone you’), practice how you’ll apply your crisis plan and ACT in a behavioral health crisis.

There are many ways we can  extend the momentum of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.   The Navy Suicide Prevention Program’s Seven Everyday Ways to Promote Suicide Prevention Awareness offers ideas and resources for individuals, commands and families to promote healthy living.  Suicide Prevention begins while we are still mission ready in the green zone—it doesn’t start when we’re already in crisis!  Use this resource as a launch pad for your own ideas on how to sustain awareness and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

To download the Information Sheet “Seven Everyday Ways to Promote Suicide Prevention Awareness,” click here.

Visit www.suicide.navy.mil for more details on Navy Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and resources.

Navigating the ERB News

Navy life is exciting but it can also be stressful. Some stress can help us to perform at our peak level, however too much stress can be harmful. Knowing what to expect and where to go for help can ease the negative impact of stress. Looking ahead can help us be better prepared for life’s inevitable challenges.

The recent Enlisted Retention Board results are a case in point. Some Sailors and families are faced with the challenges of leaving the Navy, while others are losing their shipmates and friends. We are all affected. But there is help available. There are some valuable resources available to lessen the impact of uncertainty and help Sailors and families better navigate the ERB process.

The Navy Personnel Command has recently launched a section on their website to focus on the ERB process as part of their resources for those Sailors transitioning to civilian life.

The NPC website highlights:

-       Transition Handbook
-       Transition Resource Guide
-       US Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes Career Fair links
-       and more

When you are feeling the negative affects of stress here are some things you can do that will help:

  1. Exercise
  2. Talk to someone you trust
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Visit your local Fleet and Family Support Center to find out what resources are available to you as you begin your transition
  5. Stay positive

Knowing your options and what resources are available are key to a successful transition. The Navy is taking great care to keep Sailors informed of their options, available resources and new opportunities through promotion of career forums like the recent VA Veteran Career Job Fair and Expo in Washington, DC, as part of the VA for Vets initiative.

“Sailors looking for further transition assistance resources can access TurboTAP at www.TurboTAP.org for 24/7 access to helpful pre-separation and transition guides, employment, education, relocation and benefits checklists and more. Other information about career options and employment opportunities is available at www.careeronestop.org, a Department of Labor website.”

“Our Sailors have served honorably and our Navy is committed to doing all we can to help them and their families successfully transition to the civilian sector,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West.

Complete information about all of the transition assistance resources available through CNIC and FFSC’s worldwide can be found at www.cnic.navy.mil.

More information on ERB transition assistance can be found on the NPC Web page at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/boards/ERB/Pages/TransitionInfo.aspx.

Source articles:
Early Retirement Option Approved for Some ERB-Separating Sailors
Transition Benefits: Many Are Available to All Sailors

OSC Leader Training – Getting back to “Taking Care of Sailors”

If having leadership in one room, at one time, candidly discussing real stress issues with your peers appeals to you, then register for the Navy OSC Leader Course on April 25, 2011, in San Diego, CA.

The 1-day course encourages audience discussion of real-life scenarios you and your Sailors face every day.   Join other Navy Officers and Chief Petty Officers in learning how to effectively help Sailors navigate stress.  While the course aims to help promote long-term health, wellness and well being of our Sailors, families and commands, past students put its results in more practical terms.

One department head said the course was, “Totally necessary; very relevant.”  A Command Master Chief commented, “Frankly, I feel it brought to the surface some things we may have a little knowledge of, but refocused us on what it is all about: Taking care of Sailors.”

Course Details:
Navy OSC Leader Training
Date: April 25, 2011
Location: Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, CA
Registration:   http://ow.ly/43AlV

For more information on the workshop objectives, download the course flyer.

Registration Now Open for the Navy and Marine Corps COSC Conference

Registration is now open for the 2011 Navy and Marine Corps Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control Conference April 26-29 2011, “The Critical Role of Junior Leaders” – For more information and to sign-up visit

http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/nccosc/Pages/coscConference2011.aspx

Related links:

MARADMIN – 058/11
NAVADMIN – 033/11

OSC Coordinator Participates in the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable

Operational Stress Control Coordinator, Capt. Lori Laraway recently joined bloggers and online journalists in a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable to discuss the OSC program, its success in increasing awareness of operational stress and the need to build psychological resilience.

Listen to the interview.
Read the transcript.

Navy Operational Stress Control Program Quick Poll Reveals Some Progress
By Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Defense Media Activity
Release Date: 12/2/2010 5:48:00 AM

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The coordinator of the Navy’s Operational Stress Control (OSC) program discussed with bloggers and online journalists the Navy’s OSC program and its success in increasing awareness of operational stress and the need to build psychological resilience during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable Dec. 1.

U.S. Navy Capt. Lori A. Laraway, Coordinator, Navy’s Operational Stress Control (OSC) Program

Capt. Lori Laraway, coordinator of the Navy’s OSC program, also discussed the latest Quick Poll survey results.

While high operational tempo and manning issues continue to remain in the forefront for deployed Sailors, the Navy’s OSC program is having success assisting Sailors and their families deal with related stresses, said Laraway.

“Feedback from our 2010 Behavioral Health Quick Poll, Naval Personnel Command poll, other surveys and focus groups indicated growing awareness of the Navy’s Stress Continuum Model and the importance of leaders and individuals recognizing stress at work and home,” said Laraway. “However, while awareness and stress issues are improving, this year’s Quick Poll respondents also indicated that longer deployments and manning issues continue to contribute to increasing levels of their stress.”

Laraway said based on the Quick Poll they did see a larger percentage of Sailors reporting positive ways they are coping with stress in their day-to-day lives. Based on the survey, they were certainly talking to family, friends, shipmates, Fleet and Family Support Centers, their chaplains and using their chain of command to constructively solve problems, said Laraway.

While awareness of stress issues is improving, OSC supports an aggressive, education, training and communication campaign that integrates policies and initiatives under one over-arching umbrella.

“Training has expanded this past year to include eight new e-learning courses designed for Navy leaders,” said Laraway.

These web-based offerings are part of the Navy’s effort to embed OSC concepts across all education and training programs. This new curriculum builds on courses already taught to 176,000 Sailors, family members and healthcare providers to navigate stress for day-to-day operations.

While OSC is about helping commands, their Sailors and families to become more resilient by increasing their ability to prepare for, recover from and adjust to life in the face of stress adversity, trauma or tragedy, their curriculum has also been advanced to assist families cope with stress.

“A mission-ready Sailor incorporates a mission-ready family. When things are going on in the home or in the family that are causing stress, it has an impact on the Sailor’s ability to perform the mission,” said Laraway.

Laraway added that the OSC program developed training and formal curriculum, working with the Fleet and Family Support Centers, specifically tailored for families that would complement and support existing programs. Additionally, Laraway explained other ways they are disbursing the vital information to family members.

“Our curriculum has been translated into Spanish and American sign language, recognizing that English is not only the primary language to get information out to families,” said Laraway.

The OSC program is also working with the Navy Medicine Focus Program to develop relationships with families who deploy more frequently, said Laraway. By doing so, the OSC training components includes, recognizing what stress zones our Sailors and their family members may fall into all in the same, common language, which is vital to understanding our stress points.

“What we are teaching or presenting to Sailors and Marines is the same language that family members here at the Fleet and Family Support Centers,” said Laraway. “That common language is very important when looking to change our culture.”

The OSC has developed four distinct color-coded categories to assist in classifying and recognizing stress – green indicates a “ready” status, yellow indicates a “reacting” status, orange indicates an “injured” status and red indicates an “ill” status.

“We recognize that for the most part, our Sailors and families are in the green zone. They are physically fit, they have had good training, they have good communication skills, they know what to do and how to go about doing it,” said Laraway.

If our Sailors and their families have the resiliency and life experience, as well as the training and knowledge, they can move back into the green zone, said Laraway. She also said that occasionally something happens to shift the stress in the family, and it is perfectly normal to move across the continuum.

An important ingredient of OSC success is increasing the acceptance of seeking help for stress related injuries and illnesses, said Laraway.

“Our work to change attitudes has begun with promoting Navy’s leadership belief that asking for assistance and guidance is a sign of strength and not weakness,” said Laraway.

She added that they are dedicated to using humor as a method to teach leaders and Sailors to recognize their stress zones and established a social media presence with their blog and Facebook accounts.

For navigating stress tips and OSC information, visit www.navynavstress.com.

Connect with OSC through Facebook at www.facebook.com/navstress and Twitter, www.twitter.com/navstress.

For more news, visit www.navy.mil._