An enlisted Navy sailor tackles suicide
There’s a good, serious article in the February issue of "Proceedings" about how the Navy could deal with suicide better.
Best Defense is on summer hiatus. During this restful spell we offer re-runs from the past 12 months. This item originally ran on February 8.
There’s a good, serious article in the February issue of Proceedings about how the Navy could deal with suicide better. It holds lessons for the other services and indeed for all of us.
“Most people cannot wait to scurry away when I start talking about the warning sings or how to ask, care, and treat those who may be at risk,” reports Jessica Smedley, who notes that her own father took his life five years ago.
The Navy could do a better job discussing suicides when they happen and taking care of those left behind, she says. “First, we want to the truth: When someone dies by suicide, say it like it is.”
Second, she writes, “we want compassion: when suicide happens, no one knows what to say…. Just be there and be kind.”
Third, “we want remembrance: both for the ones who killed themselves and for our new identities as survivors.”
Bottom line: Leaders need to show up and make it clear that, “You are not alone.”
Photo credit: U.S. Naval Institute
More from Foreign Policy
At Long Last, the Foreign Service Gets the Netflix Treatment
Keri Russell gets Drexel furniture but no Senate confirmation hearing.
How Macron Is Blocking EU Strategy on Russia and China
As a strategic consensus emerges in Europe, France is in the way.
What the Bush-Obama China Memos Reveal
Newly declassified documents contain important lessons for U.S. China policy.
Russia’s Boom Business Goes Bust
Moscow’s arms exports have fallen to levels not seen since the Soviet Union’s collapse.