Recruit Training Command emphasizes suicide prevention
Suicide prevention awareness and training is a discussed with every recruit to enter Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, the Navy’s only boot camp, where 37,000 recruits are transformed into basically trained sailors each year.
From their first moments of arrival at boot camp, recruits are taught the importance of being a shipmate, and lessons of suicide prevention rely heavily on the principle of looking out for others, and speaking up when necessary.
“Given the nature of their relationships with RDCs and other recruits, if only the amount of time spent together, that’s often the first line of defense,” said Lt. j.g. Emily Rosenzweig, Navy chaplain assigned to a ship, or recruit barracks, at RTC. “We treat every instance of suicidal ideation to ensure that each recruit receives the highest levels of care.”
Part of that care is the Recruit Evaluation Unit, or REU, where Dr. Julie Ruddy serves on staff.
”Because we have the REU with a trained and experienced psychologist,” said Rosenzweig, “we are very fortunate that we are able to refer recruits who may be in crisis for proper care. I believe that every recruit has the knowledge and tools to seek help.”
Approaching the issue from multiple angles, recruits and staff receive instruction on keys to understanding suicide from their first days of arrival at RTC; from then, they hear about it often.
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