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SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE UPDATE

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SUBJ/SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE UPDATE//

REF/A/DOC/CNO/18SEP18//
REF/B/DOC/CNO/DEC20//
REF/C/DOC/CNIC/JUN19//
REF/D/DOC/CNO/AUG18//

NARR/REF A IS NAVY SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM INSTRUCTION.  
REF B IS CULTURAL CHAMPION NETWORK QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE.  
REF C IS NAVY SUICIDE PREVENTION HANDBOOK. 
REF D IS SAILOR ASSISTANCE AND INTERCEPT FOR LIFE (SAIL) COMMANDERS 
TOOLKIT.//

RMKS/1.  As we start the New Year, I would like to acknowledge all the hard 
work being done to encourage Sailors to seek help and combat destructive 
behaviors.  Although the overall suicide rate has started to move in the 
right direction, we must continue to keep the focus on Sailor support.  We 
are still losing too many Sailors to suicide:  76 in 2020, 80 in 2019, and 79 
in 2018.

2.  We must employ and empower the Cultural Champion Network, which includes 
Command Resilience Teams, Command Resilience Team Human Factors Councils and 
Engaged Deckplate Leaders in line with references (a) through (d).  Numerous 
life circumstances can produce added pressure to a force already stressed by 
operational demands.
If left unacknowledged and therefore unchecked, this pressure, can strain 
Sailors psychological and emotional well-being.  An important part of 
creating a command climate that encourages help-seeking behavior is intrusive 
leadership especially at the deck plate level.
Know your Sailors.  Leaders at every level should understand the factors that 
increase suicide risk and how your mission, work schedule, environment and 
other stressors might contribute to that risk.  Take actions to get to the 
left!

3.  Warm handoffs are critical for at-risk Sailors, we must ensure no Sailor 
slips through the cracks, especially when transitioning from command to 
command (e.g. Permanent Change of Station, Temporary Additional Duty) or 
whenever the normal social network is disrupted.
After a Sailor receives psychological health treatment or intervention, 
appropriate reintegration whether transitioning them back into the workplace, 
into another job field or into civilian life is vital to the Sailors long-
term successful recovery.
Reintegration must be done carefully, ensuring no support gaps between the 
medical provider and command leadership.  Sailors should receive the 
continual support needed to carry on in their careers and personal lives.

4.  We continue to improve existing programs and develop new tools to help 
commands and Sailors.  Expanded Operational Stress Control and the Commanders 
Risk Mitigation Dashboard are currently being tested and will be made 
available upon conclusion of the pilot.

5.  The Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life (SAIL) Program is a critical 
resource that requires unit leadership engagement to be successful.  However, 
the Sailor acceptance rate remains around 50 percent.  SAIL case managers 
continue to have difficulty making contact with Sailors who are referred to 
SAIL. To close this identified gap, we will implement changes to the SAIL 
program shortly.
    a.  Specifically, SAIL procedures will be modified to require Commanding 
Officers to instruct and verify that the Sailors who have experienced a 
suicide-related behavior contact the SAIL case manager at the nearest Fleet 
and Family Service Center.  This minor change in policy will help strengthen 
communication between Sailors and SAIL case managers by involving both in the 
initial contact process.
    b.  Command referral is mandatory for any Sailor exhibiting suicidal 
behavior or attempt.  Since COVID-19, we have seen our referral rate drop 
from near 100 percent to 83 percent.  After the Sailor is contacted, 
participation in the SAIL program remains voluntary, but you as leadership 
should take an active role in seeing that your Sailor gets the help they 
need.

6.  Additional guidance for submitting SAIL referrals, including the Suicide 
Prevention Handbook and SAIL Commanders Toolkit, can be found on the Navy 
Suicide Prevention Program website:
www.suicide.navy.mil.

7.  The point of contact for the SAIL program is Mr. Victor Gooden, N170F, 
who can be reached at (901) 874-4220/DSN 882 or via e-mail at 
victor.gooden(at)navy.mil.

8.  Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell Jr, N1.//

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