Suicide Prevention

20 Nov 2007 | Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Hermesman

 Claiming more than 30,000 lives a year, the leading cause of death for all Americans and the second leading cause of death in the Marine Corps and the Navy, is neither a virus or a drug--it's suicide.

 This of course does not decrease during the holiday season thanks to the ‘holiday blues.’ Some service members are out on their own for the first time and have always had a family to be around during this time of year, said Cmdr. Richmond E. Stoglin, battalion chaplain for Headquarters and Support Battalion Marine, Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

 “The things we want Marines and sailors to remember during these times of year are, what you had to go through to get to where you are now, keep in mind all the obstacles you have overcome,” said Stoglin. “We need to know that we all have brothers and sisters in the Marines Corps and the world. Suicide is something that will affect an entire community.”

 Holiday seasons seem to pull young Marines into the state of mind that they need to buy very expensive things, things to impress people, said Stoglin.

 “We only ask that you live within your means and that you don’t spend more then you can financially handle,” Stoglin said. “The need to ‘one up’ each other seems to be much higher.”

 “January, 08 is coming, what will you do, who will you owe,” said Col. David R. Leppelmeier, commanding officer of HQ SPT BN, MCB CL.

 Spending too much money over the holiday season puts a huge amount of pressure on someone and their financial affairs. This can cause depression that pushes people to turn to drastic measures, said Stoglin.

 “It’s better to seek out the help you need, rather then to do something rash,” said Stoglin.

 Help for suicide is everywhere, the Marine Corps has AID LIFE program. This program helps anyone considering. Also the 24-Hour Suicide Hotline, that number is 1-800-479-3339.

 “One way to stay happy and focused on life is to volunteer you time to help others, nothing lifts your spirit like helping someone in need,” explained Stoglin. “Remember the Marine Corps is a team, and together everyone achieves more.”