Navy Secretary says suicide prevention efforts remain a top priority

Posted at 9:52 AM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 17:11:27-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer says suicide prevention efforts in the Navy and Marine Corps remain one of his top commitments and priorities.

Spencer was asked about the recent attention to suicides in the military, including a string involving the Norfolk-based USS George H.W. Bush, during a visit to Norfolk at the end of October.

"It rips my heart out every single time I have to read and I get them directly every time we have a suicide. We are knocking on every single door, we are pulling on every single string, to see how we can get after this," Spencer said.

If you or someone you love is struggling, military or civilian, there is free and confidential help available 24/7 through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

"We are looking outside the wire to see what the private sector is doing. As you know, it’s a national epidemic. By saying that though doesn’t make our case any easier. We have at last I saw we have about 12 efforts underway throughout both the Navy-Marine Corps team trying to get after this. Which is monitor your friends, talk to your friends, make sure people are connected. And again working with the doctors, the psychiatrists, the psychologists all to figure out – every single body is focusing on this issue," he added.

News 3 has compiled a list of resources the military has for suicide prevention here.