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Col. Ricardo Martinez, chief of staff, speaks at the Suicide Prevention Symposium, held aboard the Combat Center, September 19, 2017. The symposium, organized by the behavioral health branch of Marine Corps Community Services, provided Combat Center leadership with information and resources to aid in dealing with mental health and suicide prevention. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isaac Cantrell)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Isaac Cantrell

MCCS hosts Suicide Prevention Symposium

21 Sep 2017 | Lance Cpl. Isaac Cantrell Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Combat Center leadership gathered at the Officer’s Club on base, September 19, 2017, to attend a Suicide Prevention Symposium.

The symposium, organized by the behavioral health branch of Marine Corps Community Services, provided Combat Center leadership with information and resources to aid in dealing with mental health and suicide prevention, according to Stacie Coduto, Behavioral Health Branch Head, MCCS

“Having access to these resources is vital to every command element,” Coduto said. “This knowledge allows leaders to make informed decisions about how to not only best engage their resources but how to best interact with their Marines and sailors who may be at risk of suicide.”

The symposium focused on identifying signs of mental disorders, ending stigmas toward mental health treatment and ways for Marines to seek help.

“The symposium was an opportunity to get base leadership and the mental health subject matter experts together in the same place to be able to talk about trends and the best practices in regards to mental health,” Coduto said. “Mental and behavioral health can have major impacts on our Marines and sailors, and it’s vital that we discuss these effects.”

This is the second time that MCCS has hosted a symposium focused on mental health, and the goal is to stress the importance of mental and behavioral health to Marine Corps and Navy leadership in regards to mission success and individual well-being.

“We encourage leadership to continue to reach out to the mental health resources that are available and encourage our Marines and sailors to engage with supports that are available to them,” Coduto said. “We want Marines and sailors to know that they are not alone.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms