By The Honorable Franklin R. Parker
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
In today’s post, I would like to build on my previous theme of “We are the power to make a difference” by highlighting the work Navy’s Every Sailor, Every Day campaign is doing through the 1 Small ACT initiative. I really believe this program, at its core, represents one of the most important aspects of suicide prevention – Just one simple act of kindness or one intervention can make all the difference in the world.
1 Small ACT was introduced in September 2015, with the goal of encouraging simple actions that can inspire hope and make a difference in the lives of others through our daily actions as shipmates, leaders, family and friends. Through 1 Small ACT, individuals informally commit to an act they will perform to be there for themselves or others. While the acts themselves may not be monumental, their impacts may very well be.
Each of us has tremendous power to influence the people in our lives. The most significant impacts of our actions, however, often go unseen. We may never know when our words of comfort may help mend a privately broken spirit, or when one display of compassion may help restore a damaged faith in others. Yet, for one navigating a difficult period in life, these small acts may make the critical difference between hope and despair, or between solitude and community. Though we may never know it, one small act we take can change or save a life; simply by intentionally reserving a moment of our time to be there for another. Similarly, one small act to be there for ourselves not only makes us stronger, but delivers a powerful example that self-help is essential both to our own emotional health and to the well-being of those who rely on us every day.
To further this effort, Navy has launched an online photo gallery where YOU can support suicide prevention efforts through “Small ACT Selfies.” During this month and throughout the year, participants can personalize a selfie sign with an example of 1 Small ACT to be there for themselves or others. To date, the 1 Small ACT photo gallery has received more than 400 entries from Sailors, Navy civilians, commands and Navy organizations. Please join me and show your support for our Department’s efforts by submitting a Small ACT Selfie.
The photo gallery is hosted on the Navy Operational Stress Control Facebook page. To find out more information about the photo gallery or information about how to submit a photo, you can visit the 1 Small ACT page.