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Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point Honored for Suicide Prevention
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Barnes, the installation executive officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point posed for a group photo with installation stakeholders whose hard work and dedication contributed to winning the Marine Corps Suicide Prevention Recognition Award during an award ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, held April 18, 2024. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jack Labrador) 

Each year, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) honors a team for its exceptional suicide prevention awareness program and community engagement. The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point team was recognized for its efforts during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune April 18. 

MCAS Cherry Point has embraced the Department of Defense’s suicide prevention theme: “Connect to Protect: Support is Within Reach,” focusing on three key areas: 

  • Connecting individuals to their communities 

  • Connecting individuals to services 

  • Connecting community and station services to form an integrated and holistic force in suicide prevention 

This approach was especially crucial post-pandemic as the long-term impacts on mental health, substance misuse, relationships, finances, parenting, employment, and overall connectedness was realized. By prioritizing suicide prevention through a variety of integrated efforts, MCAS Cherry Point worked to create a safe, supportive, and connected environment for the entire community.  

The entire team understands that a sense of connection and belonging is a key protective factor in addressing risk & serves as a reminder that life is valuable and worth living. 

Prevention efforts have included leadership summits, resilience trainings, partnering with Substance Abuse Control Officers (SACOs) to identify and screen individuals who may be at risk of suicide due to substance use, and distribution of over 300 gun locks.  

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