MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Emma Quimbly, Dougherty County coroner, spoke to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Marines about suicide prevention, Sept. 14.
Five Marines committed suicide and 12 attempted it in August, according to figures released by Headquarters Marine Corps. The statistics included 39 suicides and 134 suicide attempts for calendar year 2012.
In the dimly-lit Base Theater, Quimbly discussed environmental factors, coping with them and how those factors contribute to suicides.
“People (who commit suicide) come to a part of their lives when they feel hopeless,” Quimbly said. “You have to realize that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
The coroner addressed the warning signs of depression and anxiety and stressed Marines should look out for one another. Her message did not focus solely on suicide within the ranks. Quimbly also revealed several recurring patterns in the local area. These patterns include child pregnancies and crimes such as thefts.
“We have so many babies (in Albany) having babies,” she said. “You also have mothers leaving to go to work in the morning to come home and finding a flat screen TV that wasn’t there when (they) left. The (local culture) has become one of acceptance.”
Quimbly recommended Marines can make a difference in these trends if they became more involved in the local community and visit its schools.
“You have a chance to be a big brother or a big sister,” Quimbly said. “If our young people see you in your uniform and see what you have accomplished, they will say to themselves ‘You know what, I can do that, too.’”
Brenda Ray, health and prevention coordinator, Marine and Family Services, also quizzed the Marines on their knowledge of suicide prevention. She emphasized using the chain of command, Marine and Family programs and the chaplain.
“The chaplain is one of our most underutilized resources,” Ray said. “The chaplain is available to provide support in the form of counseling, whether it’s emotional or marital or depression.”