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September marked as Suicide Prevention Month by Dept of Defense

The Department of Defense will mark September as Suicide Prevention Month.
The Navy says suicide prevention goes beyond training people to recognize risk factors or handle a crisis.

Sofia Gonzalez - Command Career Counselor
"It was a guy that we worked with every day and he attempted suicide in one of our spaces was unsuccessful so we didn't know how to handle it."

It's a story that many serving our country can tell....
Lusbeth Morales- Religious Programs Specialist
"I remember when I first came in, my first ship and within literally the first six months there already three suicides."

Lusbeth morales is a Religious Programs Specialist at NAS Whiting Field and is on the front lines of preventing suicide among Sailors and Marines.

"Next month I'll be in for seven years and I've seen a drastic change and I think that's amazing."

Morales thinks more awareness has helped those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Jason Hart- Staff Chaplain NAS Whiting Field
"One suicide is too many. However from fiscal year 13 to 14 we have seen a decrease."

He says the Department of Defense has taken several new steps in recent years to prevent suicides through educational programs.

There is even a prototype blood test that will assess for suicide risk in members of the military.
It measures changes to a gene in the brain linked to the control of stress.

The test is still in experiemental stages and has not yet been implemented by the Department of Defense.

"Anything the military can do to save a life is worth investing in and researching."

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