Annual Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Recognition
2021 – 2022 Suicide Prevention Recognition
On September 6, 2023, the Department of Defense honored the 2021-2022 Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Recognition Recipients. The Department held this recognition ceremony to honor the recipients’ year-round accomplishments, including the 2021 Suicide Prevention Month campaign and their dedication to this life-saving work. The Department recognized five installations; their accomplishments are listed below. Click to watch a recording of the ceremony.
U.S. ARMY GARRISON, RHEINLAND-PFALZ, KAISERSLAUTERN, GERMANY
The U.S. Army Garrison held a Safe Talk for Leaders, training for field hospital staff on stress management and building resilience, and held a Resilience Olympics. The Resilience Olympics consisted of fitness challenges and promoted what the chaplain, Behavioral Health, and Physical Therapy departments had to offer. The event focused on building skills and connecting with one another.
GUAM ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, BARRIGADA, GUAM
The Guam Army National Guard held a virtual Chalk the Walk event, and every soldier completed a Suicide Prevention Month pledge in September 2022. Additionally, during the holidays they created a Combat the Holiday Blues Recipes and Traditions E-book that was shared throughout the community. In May they held a Self-Care Challenge that encouraged healthy eating, physical training challenges, and weekly meditation. Finally, Soldiers wrote 500 cards of encouragement and sent them to those struggling with mental health challenges.
MARINE AIRCRAFT GROUP 12, IWAKUNI, JAPAN
Marine Aircraft Group 12 Iwakuni focused on training and events that inform the community while building connections and comradery among Marines, sailors, and families. Events include a bi-weekly resiliency huddle, a weekly Iwakuni Castle Run, and a Warrior Wednesday. Marine Aircraft Group 12 also hosted a potluck Thanksgiving so that every sailor and Marine had somewhere to go for the holiday.
NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE SOCOM, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Naval Special Warfare SOCOM took a multifaceted approach to reach thousands of people within their community, including an art show about how suicide has affected the community, a look at suicide prevention as a leader, a Warrior Talk video series, and a motorcycle ride. They also focused on teaching spouses about warning signs of suicide and lethal means safety messaging.
ACC/JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, HAMPTON, AND NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA
Air Combat Command/Joint Base Langley-Eustis met the challenge of the high operation tempo on base by holding their third annual Helping our People Everyday (HOPE) Walk, a Connection Carnival and Resilience Challenge/Crossbow Games, as well as a Summer Saturday Breaking Barriers Alliance Fest. Packed with resources and skills activities, the events also created community connections.
2020 – 2021 Suicide Prevention Recognition
On September 7, 2022, the Department of Defense paid special tribute to the 2020-2021 Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Recognition Recipients. The Department held this recognition ceremony to honor the recipients’ year-round accomplishments, including the 2020 Suicide Prevention Month campaign and their dedication to this life-saving work. The Department recognized six installations; their accomplishments are listed below. You can watch a recording of the ceremony.
United States Army Garrison White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range hosted school events combatting bullying, provided over 56 ACE - Ask, Care, Escort - training sessions to the workforce and soldiers, and a 2-minute commercial with the assistance of community members and Visual Information Branch to enhance suicide prevention efforts, among many other activities. You can read more about United States Army Garrison White Sands Missile Range.
Oregon Army National Guard
The Oregon Army National Guard held the first annual Walk for Suicide Prevention. The installation also held a Suicide Prevention Brief & Discussion with a teen panel; wrote, requested, and helped produce two video messages on suicide prevention; and participated in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) training. You can read more about the Oregon Army National Guard.
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort established a Suicide Prevention Planning Committee; set up suicide prevention resource tables at Troop Appreciations hosted by the Tri-Command Single Marine & Sailor Program; made social media posts to encourage Marines, Sailors and their family members to practice self-care; and provided Safe-Talk workshops facilitated by two chaplains. You can read more about Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans
The resiliency team at MARCORSPTFAC New Orleans, LA developed an enterprise wide mobile app, USMC Connect, to provide access to resources and to empower reservists to stay connected to their individual units outside of drill weekends. Launched in October of 2020, this reserve-centric app aims to increase feelings of connectedness. You can read more about Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans.
Cryptologic Warfare Group Six
Cryptologic Warfare Group Six held a walk for suicide awareness and prevention, which drew 203 participants. In November and December, the annual Ugly Sweater Campaign provided supportive resources. In Spring 2021, the installation held a CALM campaign on access to lethal means. Gun lock distribution has quadrupled since the campaign began. You can read more about Cryptologic Warfare Group Six.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base distributed chalk to decorate sidewalks with encouraging messages for 11,000 base personnel; the installation also hosted Boss and Buddy events where different members distributed conversation starter cards on tables to encourage people to connect. Finally, the installation provided a variety of trainings, which were well-attended. You can read more about Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
2019 Suicide Prevention Month Recognition Recipients
Army Recipient for the 2019 DoD Suicide Prevention Month Recognition: Army Garrison Fort Lee
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee held eight major events during Suicide Prevention Month, including a #BeThere proclamation signing by senior Army and Marine leaders.
Marine Corps Recipient for the 2019 DoD Suicide Prevention Month Recognition: Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s largest Suicide Prevention Month event was their kid and pet-friendly two-mile “Out of the Darkness” walk and virtual race.
Navy Recipient for the 2019 DoD Suicide Prevention Month Recognition: Navy Information Operations Command Georgia
NAVIOCOM GA held seven major events during Suicide Prevention Month, including a Support Our Shipmates (SOS) Buddy Walk and Suicide Prevention Pledge signing.
National Guard Recipient for the 2019 DoD Suicide Prevention Month Recognition: North Dakota Army National Guard
North Dakota Army National Guard hosted events and programs across the state during Suicide Prevention Month, including a live suicide prevention Q&A video stream with more than 1,000 views.
Air Force Recipient for the 2019 DoD Suicide Prevention Month Recognition: Ali Al Salem Air Base
Ali Al Salem Air Base hosted numerous Suicide Prevention Month activities, including creation of a Facebook “Air Force Wingman Outreach” page that gained 30,000 followers in less than 30 days.
2018 Suicide Prevention Month Recognition
Fort Carson’s Suicide Prevention Month program adopted a Value of Life theme which they promoted throughout the month of September. Message boards were placed across the installation that encouraged individuals to post and share inspirational and motivational thoughts. Fort Carson’s kickoff event was a community picnic that was attended by more than 600 Soldiers, family members, Veterans and local residents. In addition to enjoying games, entertainment, education and good food, community members engaged in activities to eradicate the stigma associated with suicide. During the month, Fort Carson expanded awareness about suicide prevention strategies and resources through unit level awareness and resource briefings that reached more than 400 Soldiers, briefings for newcomers and reintegrating Service members, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshops that trained 54 gatekeepers. Fort Carson also partnered with 15 community agencies for a 5K Race against suicide that had more than 300 participants, each receiving promotional items with the Military Crisis Line/Veterans Crisis Line numbers.
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni kicked off Suicide Prevention Month with the first American Forces Network (AFN) live radio stream that provided factual suicide prevention and intervention information to more than 3,000 listeners. They also published articles on behavioral health and suicide prevention in their September 2018, installation magazine and hosted tabling events during the month that provided information about suicide prevention, including strategies for assisting distressed individuals and accessing installation resources. Nearly 600 active duty, dependents and civilian personnel visited these events. In addition, the Air Station promoted a “wear yellow” campaign to increase awareness and show support for suicide prevention and conducted a two-day ASIST workshop to educate participants on identifying signs of distress and suicide risk, bystander behaviors and interventions, and accessing help on the installation.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s Suicide Prevention Month program focused on community engagement and increasing awareness about the power of bystanders through publications, a targeted social media campaign, outreach to high risk populations, awareness and prevention trainings, and engagement with installation leadership. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam kicked off Suicide Prevention Month with a Joint Services Suicide Prevention Proclamation signing and resource fair that had nearly 1,000 participants. The Proclamation was signed by leaders from all branches of the Military and the Governor of Hawaii. The event also featured a pledge drive for participants to commit to take steps to prevent suicide and interactive photo opportunities using the #BeThere and #PreserveOurOhana slogan. Throughout the month, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam promoted Suicide Prevention Month events on social media using the "BeThere" and "PreserveOurOhana" themes, reaching a combined followership of over 10,000. A Teen Suicide Prevention/Awareness Training addressed issues teens face and detailed coping strategies centered on building resilience. In addition, more than 400 Service members, civilian employees and family members participated in four “Fight for Each Other (F4EO)” events that featured speakers sharing stories of the personal impact of suicide and their experiences as "bystanders.”
Misawa Air Base’s Suicide Prevention Month program focused not only on educating the community about suicide prevention, but also on strengthening interpersonal connections. Misawa Air Base developed conversation cards that encouraged participants to discuss suicide prevention topics including stress management and tips for building connections. More than 17,000 Misawa Connect cards were placed in various locations (dining facilities, the bowling alley, chapel and golf course) and reached an estimated 8,240 individuals. Several Suicide Prevention Month social activities were hosted to expand awareness and build connections: two free bowling events that drew 520 young adults and a “Cookies and Canvas” event for 30 at-risk adults and their loved ones that addressed the importance of connections in suicide prevention. In addition, Misawa Air Base provided training for key spouses on suicide warning signs and available resources.
The Indiana National Guard Camp Atterbury hosted the "Got Your Six, Be There: Your Action Could Save a Life” 5K Run/Walk/Bike to bring attention not only to Service members who have died by suicide, but also to support individuals currently struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The run was held in conjunction with Camp Atterbury’s Community Day to emphasize the importance of community involvement in preventing suicide and to highlight suicide prevention resources. More than 130 individuals, representing nearly every branch of the Military, participated in the race at Camp Atterbury. In addition, 44 deployed Service members participated in a sh1adow run in Kuwait.
2017 Suicide Prevention Month Recognition
2016 Suicide Prevention Month Recognition