Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro hosted a Department of Navy (DON) Resilience off-site March 17 with senior Navy and Marine Corps leaders to discuss opportunities and identify action items that will promote well-being, improve quality of life, advance integrated prevention, and increase warfighting readiness Department-wide.
The discussion occurred a day after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released a Department wide memo on suicide prevention in the military.
Throughout the day, the DON Office of Force Resiliency (OFR) facilitated discussion with nationally recognized experts in mental health and wellness, suicide prevention, and lethal means safety. This provided DON military and civilian leaders a forum for advancing strategies to enhance quality of life, safety, and connection, and further suicide prevention efforts.
Through personal narratives, presentations and panel sessions, attendees considered leadership approaches that promote mental health literacy, healthy climates and lethal means safety, and examined national efforts that could inform the Department’s resilience and suicide prevention strategies.
Junior Sailors and Marines were also invited to participate in discussions about mental health and force resiliency.
Session speakers included Mrs. Teri and Mr. Patrick Caserta of the Brandon Caserta Foundation; Mr. Ross Szabo of the Geffen Academy at the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Jerry Reed of the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee; Ms. Terri Tanielian, the Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Affairs; Mr. Brett Bass of the Washington State Safer Homes Lethal Means Task Force; and Dr. Jeff Sung of the University of Washington.
SECNAV charged leaders to champion efforts to develop, promote and model the behaviors that will strengthen the readiness and resilience of the services.
Off-site attendees included the Under Secretary of the Navy, the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Surgeon General and Chief of Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Chief of Chaplains, the Chaplain of the Marine Corps, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and senior representatives of Navy and Marine Corps manpower branches and family and education programs.