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Knowing your Marines

By Cpl. Rubin J. Tan | | May 17, 2013


Marine Corps Community Service’s Marine and Family Program held a suicide awareness and prevention class aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for all service members, May 9.

The Marine and Family Team Building Program aboard Parris Island and the Air Station offers an array of events and services including career and transition assistance, exceptional family member programs, counseling services and an abundance of personal and professional resources.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in 2012, 349 United States ser vice members were lost due to suicides, 48 suicides and more than 180 attempts were within the Marine Corps.

Students in the class were advised suicides attribute to more deaths than while deployed in combat. Most suicides occur during the summer months.

"People should care about this class because it teaches them how to be more open minded to people’s emotions while also knowing the resources available to further help your Marine or sailor," said Cpl. Jovon Richard, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron freight clerk and Houston native.

An acronym used during the class was R.A.C.E., recognize, ask, care and escort. RACE is used to help service members know the signs of behavior changes and acknowledging a possible issue while helping the individual find professional help.

"You can’t fix everything and help can always be found through the chaplains, behavior health professionals, Marine family life counselors—it’s about getting the Marine professional help," said Jeanette Smith, MCCS Marine family program trainer.

Marines in distress can also utilize a free anonymous phone and chat counseling service called the DSTRESS Line at (877)476-7734. The service offers Marines and sailors people to talk to including veteran Marines, corpsmen, Marine Corps family members and clinicians.

"Suicide has the ability to tear apart unit cohesion and it effects everyone who has had direct and indirect relationships with that person," said Smith, a Sheveport, La., native. "One person can make a difference and everyone is at risk of suicide including themselves, and education on how to detect signs of suicide is what the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Class is all about."

For more information about resources available for help with suicide please contact the DSTRESS Line or Jeanette Smith at 228-1569.