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Suicide Prevention Course Hosted by NSA Hampton Roads Base Chapel

by LT j.g. Jacqueline Renee Ramos, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs
08 September 2023 Service members gathered at the Naval Support Activities (NSA) Hampton Roads Chapel to participate in a course called safeTALK. Students who graduate this free, three-hour course will leave with the tools necessary to watch for, prevent, and aid people who suffer from suicidal tendencies or ideations as well as monitor their own mental health.
SafeTALK Training
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | SafeTALK Training NORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 9, 2023)- Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Launch/Recovery) Ryan Cuppernall leads a SafeTALK training for civilians and Sailors stationed aboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads. SafeTALK is a 3-hour course providing trainees with the tools required to identify, respond, and monitor personnel struggling with suicidal ideations. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Jacqueline R. Ramos)
The acronym “SAFE” in the program’s name stands for “Suicide Alertness for Everyone,” as the acronym “TALK” stands for the steps to take in response to recognizing signs of suicidal ideations: Tell, Ask, Listen, and Keepsafe.
Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launch/Recovery) Ryan Cuppernall, the certified safeTALK instructor in the Norfolk branch, led the program. He is currently stationed at Naval Air Force Atlantic (AIRLANT) and has been a safeTALK instructor for three years.
“What I want for students to graduate this course is to be able to listen to others who are struggling with suicide and be able to pass on these lessons to others,” said Cuppernall. “If these skills become more practiced and widespread, we can create a world without suicide.”
SafeTALK is a free program by Livingworks, a non-profit, non-military oriented organization focused on suicide prevention. The course is open to all military and civil servants for attendance.
“I’m very glad to have taken this course,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Olivia Vesek, who is stationed at AIRLANT. “This course helps takes suicide from the taboo that very much exists in the Navy.”
September is nationally recognized as Suicide Awareness month and the program’s coordinator, Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Calel Butler, welcomes all service members and civilians to attend the future sessions.
“Suicide is a human issue, it’s everywhere. And we require human beings to help with it,” stated Butler.
The NSA Hampton Roads Chapel offers more safeTALK sessions in the future with the next session taking place on Sept. 15th starting at 9 am. More scheduled sessions can be found on the NSA Hampton Roads Chapel Facebook page.
More resources for suicide prevention can be found at the following links:
Navy Suicide Prevention
Marine Corps Suicide Prevention
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