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Now, a Marine commander has decided to push the top Marine’s message a bit further by calling suicide “shameful."
In an email he sent to staff, which was obtained by Marine Corps Times, Col. Dom D. Ford, the commander of Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School at Twentynine Palms, California, called on Marines “to read more scripture” to boost their religious and spiritual wellness and help combat the suicide epidemic.

“Suicide is a shameful act. Period. Getting help is not,” Ford wrote to Marines under his command. "Life isn’t fair, and every day won’t be rainbows and sunshine.”

The colonel explained in the email that increased mental health issues may be a “byproduct” of a “godless age” amid a “rapid cultural and technological shift” that has resulted in a “less spiritually fit” populace. To address the problem, Ford says, people should “spend less time in front of a screen," put down their smartphones, “send flowers instead of an emoji," go out more, “attend a religious service — more than once” and to read scripture."

...

Spiritual fitness has been shown to be an important part of overall well-being and promotes mission readiness,” officials at Training and Education Command told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement regarding Ford’s email.
“However, the Marine Corps does not promote any specific religious tradition or practice. While religion may play an important role for some individuals in their spiritual development, it is not the only way to be spiritually fit. The practice of religious beliefs is a personal decision,” the TECOM officials wrote.

While spiritual fitness and faith have been consistent themes among the Corps’ leaders when discussing the suicide crisis, religion has rarely been invoked.

That is in part due to its potential to impact the perceptions of troops who may question the impartiality of commanders who are charged with leading troops who hold varying religious beliefs, or are atheists.

Read more: https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/new...ore-scripture/

From the National Institute of Health:

...The existence of a relationship specifically between suicide and religion has been well-documented in numerous reviews [5, 7, 1215]. Most studies reveal that increased religiosity protects against suicide...
Conclusion

Religion plays a protective role against suicide in a majority of settings where suicide research is conducted. However, this effect varies based on the cultural and religious context. Therefore, public health professionals need to strongly consider the current social and religious atmosphere of a given population when designing suicide prevention strategies.

read more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482518/
This is sort of interesting. Would not be surprised if the commander gets an attitude correction for his apparent proselytizing....

But....public health officials may agree that promoting religion may be an effective suicide prevention.