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Command Suicide Prevention Program

USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) - 1-800-273-8255
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Sailors form the phone number to the Military Crisis Line, illustrating that suicide prevention is an all hands evolution.

Navy Suicide Prevention Branch, OPNAV N171, is comprised of the Suicide Prevention and Operational Stress Control (OSC) Programs. The branch's goal is to minimize suicide risk by enabling Sailors to thrive as a psychologically healthy, resilient and mission-effective people through knowledge, responsibility and resources.

Per OPNAVINST 1720.4A, every command is required to maintain a robust Suicide Prevention Program, helping to equip Sailors with the knowledge, skills and resources to proactively navigate stress, support one another and respond appropriately in the event of a crisis.

ü  Training – Training should educate Sailors on suicide risk factors and warning signs, actions to strengthen protective factors and promote supportive command climates, when and how to intervene appropriately, and how to access available resources.

ü  Intervention – Proactive planning for crisis intervention, addressing the process for identification, referral, access to treatment and follow-up procedures for personnel who are at imminent risk of suicide.

ü  Response – Timely and appropriate support for Sailors experiencing a psychological health or suicidal crisis, as well as those affected by suicide (including shipmates and families).

ü  Reporting – Immediate reporting of suicide and suicide related behaviors to mobilize appropriate resources and inform command and Navy-wide suicide prevention efforts. 


​Commanding Officer's Responsibilities ​Suicide Prevention Coordinator's Responsibilities
Designate a suicide prevention coordinator (SPC) in writing.​ ​Receive required OPNAV N171 SPC Training as soon as possible after designation. Training is delivered via webinar and/or in-person during PACFLT Resilient Workforce Summits.
Work with SPC and key personnel to develop a written crisis response plan and run drills to ensure readiness.​ Ensure crisis response plan is updated and kept in an easily accessible place. Assist CO with development and readiness drills.
Maintain ongoing engagement with Sailors to generate active dialogue about psychological health.​

Schedule annual suicide prevention General Military Training (may be facilitated by local resources such as chaplains).

Maintain collaboration with other SPCs and tailor OPNAV N171 resources to command efforts.

Ensure easy access to support resources and psychological health treatment, actively promoting a culture that supports comprehensive wellness and psychological well-being.​ ​​Ensure educational materials, helpful resources and leadership messages are accessible throughout the command.

​Understand reporting requirements and procedures in the event of a death by suicide or suicide related behavior.

​Be familiar with reporting requirements and procedures.


For more information, refer to the Commanding Officer's Suicide Prevention Program Handbook, OPNAVINST 1720.4A or contact the Navy Suicide Prevention Branch at 901-874-6613 (COMM) or

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Last Modified: 2/5/2016 10:57 AM
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