Three Sailors Assigned to Norfolk’s Naval Upkeep Middle Died By Suicide This Month

Three sailors assigned to Norfolk’s naval upkeep middle have died by suicide in current weeks.

Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine confirmed the rash of suicides Monday, which occurred all through the month of November.

All three sailors have been assigned to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Upkeep Middle at Naval Station Norfolk. Mid-Atlantic Regional Upkeep Middle operates below Naval Sea Techniques Command to take care of army ships.

Warner’s workplace is involved with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Upkeep Middle and Kaine’s workplace is involved with the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., concerning the deaths, however have been unable to supply further particulars. The army has not publicly commented on the deaths.

Kaine stated he’ll elevate the problem of the deaths with Naval management immediately, describing the problem of service member suicides as “an immense problem” going through the army group.

“I’m heartbroken to study of the deaths of those three sailors,” Kaine stated in an announcement to The Virginian-Pilot. “Considered one of my prime priorities because the Chair of the Senate Armed Providers Subcommittee on Readiness is to make sure that each member of our armed forces has entry to the psychological well being companies that may save lives.”

Final 12 months, Kaine labored to incorporate the bipartisan Brandon Act — which was named after a Navy sailor who dedicated suicide on Naval Station Norfolk in 2018 — within the annual armed companies funding invoice. The act would enable service members to confidentially search psychological well being therapy and ensures sailors is not going to be retaliated in opposition to or punished for disclosing psychological well being struggles. Whereas the act was signed into legislation by President Joe Biden in 2021, it has not been carried out by the Division of Protection.

“I’m pushing the Division of Protection to implement the invoice as rapidly as doable — and dealing to safe further psychological well being sources for our armed forces by means of this 12 months’s annual protection funding invoice — so we are able to get service members the psychological well being companies they want,” Kaine stated.

Warner and Kaine lengthen their prayers to the sailors’ households and impacted group members.

“The reality is that this time of 12 months could be significantly tough for the women and men of our armed forces who serve our nation year-round and sometimes should spend the vacations away from their family members,” Warner stated in an announcement to The Pilot.

Warner reminds sailors that they need to by no means undergo alone or in silence.

“I encourage any sailor who’s struggling or contemplating suicide to succeed in out to the command suicide prevention coordinator, the Navy Fleet & Household Assist Middle, the native command chaplain, or Army OneSource,” Warner stated.

The current string of suicides comes eight months after three sailors assigned to the Norfolk-based USS George Washington took their very own lives inside the span of per week.

Sources for service members and veterans scuffling with psychological well being, together with 24-hour disaster hotlines, could be discovered beneath:

  • The Army Disaster Line: name 1-800-273-8255, ext. 1; or textual content “273Talk” to 839863
  • Army OneSource: 1-800-342-9647
  • Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 — name or textual content

Caitlyn Burchett,

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