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Suffering In Silence

Bianca Strzalkowski
tagged: mental health, suicide prevention
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Marine wife Liz Snell pictured with her daughters


Congressional Action Taken

Recently, on June 6, 2013 the House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14 NDAA) requesting that the Secretary of Defense explore the ability of the branches to begin tracking suicide amongst military family members. This action was long asked for by one of the leading military service organizations, the National Military Family Association. Here is the response from Executive Director, Joyce Wessel Raezer: “Our Association senses a growing level of concern in many military communities about the well-being of military spouses and children after more than a decade of war. While we've heard worries about growing numbers of military family member suicides, we don't know the extent of the problem or which family members are most vulnerable. That's why we asked Congress to direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to gather data and report on military family suicides. Once it has more information, the DoD can better focus resources to the families needing a greater level of support. We're grateful members of Congress recognized the importance of this issue and added this language in the bill.”

As military spouses you are the foundation of your family.  Often, you are the ones comforting the children when they are missing a parent and you are planning the moves to new locations every two to three years. It may be hard to find the time to address your needs, but like the airlines’ mantra states: you must first take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Seek the help you deserve because you shouldn’t be suffering in silence another day. You are not alone.

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