September is Suicide Prevention Month and we have the resources you need to get actively involved in supporting your shipmates this month and throughout the year. Building on the Every Sailor, Every Day campaign, the 21st Century Sailor Office’s Suicide Prevention Branch, OPNAV N171, is introducing the message “1 Small ACT” during this year’s observance. The little things that we can do as shipmates, leaders and family members every day can make a big difference in the lives of others.
While suicide prevention is an ongoing effort, this month’s observance is the perfect time to catalyze engagement and encourage your shipmates to support one another through life’s challenges. You can get started today by participating in the 1 Small ACT Photo Gallery on our Navy Operational Stress Control Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/navstress) to illustrate practical applications of the 1 Small ACT message. By contributing to the photo gallery, you can demonstrate your commitment to supporting every Sailor, every day by highlighting simple ways to make a difference, inspire hope and save a life. Submissions will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2016.
Contributing to the 1 Small ACT Photo Gallery is quick, but the impact can last a lifetime. To participate:
- Submit a photograph of yourself or your shipmates holding the 1 Small ACT sign (available in our toolkit here or on Navy.mil here), personalized with your example of a small act that can make a difference or save a life. For example, you could write “I will remember to personally thank my Sailors for their contributions to our mission.” Or, “I will speak to my command chaplain before my stress becomes overwhelming.”
- Send your photo to email@example.com for review and posting in the photo gallery. In the email, include your command or organization and the small act written on the sign (may be used as caption).
- Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/navstress) to view and share your image as inspiration to your shipmates, friends and family!
You can also submit your 1 Small ACT photo through the Real Warriors mobile application. The Real Warriors app is an online photo-sharing service that offers peer support for warriors, veterans and military families. Users can upload photos to the Wall, salute others and access 24/7 resources. If you don’t have the sign, just hold up your index finger in the photo, pick an inspirational message (e.g. “Real Strength”) and write your 1 Small ACT as a caption. You can download the app on the Apple App Store or view the Wall on your mobile browser at realstrength.realwarriors.net.
Don’t stop there! Other ways to get involved include:
- Using the 1 Small ACT a Day calendar from the toolkit (available for download with a free Issuu account here), include examples of simple actions to promote suicide prevention in your command’s Plan of the Day or Plan of the Week notes.
- Educate five shipmates on five risk factors or warning signs for suicide, and asking them to pass it on.
- Organize a 1 Small ACT challenge. Encourage your shipmates to perform meaningful acts throughout the month of September and share each on a designated wall in a high-visibility area, using the 1 Small ACT photo gallery sign.
- Organize a 5K walk/run aboard your ship or installation, using 1 Small ACT as the theme. Have a 1 Small ACT photo station next to the check in table, stocked with printed photo gallery templates from the toolkit and bold markers so that participants can submit their images to the photo gallery (include instructions for submission at the table as well).
- Post educational content to your command, unit, installation or organization’s social media networks. You can use the sample social media messages in the toolkit or choose your own messaging. Make sure to use the #1SmallACT hashtag!
- Organize a showing of the “Every Sailor, Every Day” video followed by an open discussion about bystander intervention, peer support and active engagement. Be sure to follow communications guidelines described in the What’s in a Word fact sheet in the toolkit.
The 1 Small ACT Toolkit, available for download here, includes materials such as printable posters, social media graphics and sample messages, talking points, a sample proclamation from the commanding officer and more. Bookmark Navy Suicide Prevention’s webpage, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more resources to support every Sailor, every day.
What will your small ACT be?