The Marine Corps: Suicide Prevention And Suicide

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The Marine Corps has a suicide problem. And while the institution seeks a solution, the symptoms of suicide continue to evolve and become more complex with each passing year. The highest level of Marine Corps leadership made mitigating suicide a priority issue, but those efforts have not translated into actionable intelligence amongst the ranks. The Marine Corps needs to develop a well-rounded policy and action plan which incorporates policy, health care competence, and peer-involvement to reduce suicide amongst the ranks. To develop a well-rounded policy and action plan, the Marine Corps should first review the hiring of health care physicians. Simply hiring more behavioral health care physicians to treat Marines is not the answer. Behavioral health physicians with personal backgrounds in combat operations should be implemented as a knowledge requirement. While the pool of available physicians with combat experience will reduce the applicant pool, the competence and level of understanding the provider brings to the table is immeasurable.
Another focus of effort is centered on the quarterly and annual training plans. Marines are required to attend Never Leave a Marine Behind training, suicide prevention training program, to “develop skills and tools to prevent the loss of life due to suicide” ( However, in its current form, the program is flawed. Teaching the course in three or four separate venues dependent upon rank does not make sense. Suicide

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