September is Suicide Awareness month, when we take a little extra time to reflect on the loss of our friends and family members who have taken their own lives. It is also a time to reflect on how we can make a difference to help those who may be contemplating suicide. This year the Department of Defense’s theme is “BeThere.” How can we “BeThere”? First, “BeThere” for yourself — it is as important as the care you give to others. “BeThere” for yourself by connecting with family and friends, get outdoors for a workout, volunteer for a good cause, and get plenty of sleep.
Secondly, “BeThere” for others by remembering just how important the act of a simple conversation can allow one to feel connected in life and make a big difference to someone’s day, week or month. Don’t assume someone else will make an effort; be the one who reaches out by calling, sending a text, inviting someone for coffee or a walk, or just stop to ask someone how they are doing when you run into them.
Third, know when to “BeThere” by remembering that changes in behavior could mean that a person needs help. Reach out if you notice your friends or family members posting negative thoughts on social media, acting out of sorts or not being their normal selves, having relationship struggles, experiencing stress and anxiety, or drinking too much. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or needs to talk to someone, please call the Military Police at civ (0611) 143-548-7777 or simply dial 114. They will get you in touch with a Chaplain. You can also call Behavioral Health for assistance at (06371) 9464-1320. Finally, “BeThere” for yourself, “BeThere” for others, your action can save a life! “BeThere.”