Starting in September 2023 to September 2025, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) will conduct a multi-year Lethal Means Safety Campaign to increase awareness of lethal means safety and provide information on safe storage handling of lethal means, to include firearms and medications.

Lethal means safety is an evidence-based suicide prevention practice that involves securely storing a suicide method or mean (e.g., firearm, medication, asphyxiation device) to make it less available or difficult to immediately access, therefore less likely to cause harm or death. The term “lethal” is important because some methods are more harmful or destructive than others used to attempt suicide. Properly storing and practicing lethal means safety are steps you can take to help save lives. Many suicides and suicide attempts happen during a short-term crisis. These practices put distance (time and space) between someone considering suicide or self-harm, while potentially saving a life. Lethal means safety includes techniques, policies, and procedures designed to reduce access or availability to lethal means and methods of deliberate self-harm. Lethal means safety ensures that lethal means, are removed during times of increased stress when risk of suicide is heightened.

While there is a significant body of evidence supporting secure storage as an effective way to prevent intentional (e.g., suicide, domestic violence) and accidental (e.g., injury) harm and death, lethal means safety (specifically, firearm safety) continues to be a stigmatized topic and challenging to integrate into Marine Corps culture and behavior.

  1. Create your own storage safety plan for lethal means.
  2. If needed, use your support system, such as family and friends to assist with this plan and store firearms if necessary. Within this plan, you can also brainstorm other ways to protect your home with means that are not a danger to yourself or the individual at risk.
  3. Lastly, ask yourself, “are there other means that could be harmful to me that I need to consider? How do I plan to limit my access to those means?”


    • Use cable locks to prevent a firearm from being loaded and fired. Cable locks may be available at your installation, with your Embedded Preventive Behavioral Health Capability (EPBHC) Specialist, or Command Suicide Prevention Program Officer (SPPO).
    • Store firearms at an installation/unit armory.
    • Store firearms with local police department, gun shop, or shooting range.
    • Lock up firearms and put the key in a lock box or give the key to a friend until the crisis has passed.
    • Some local and state laws require weapon registration for legal storage; always follow the law in your jurisdiction.
    • Firearm Suicide Prevention & Lethal Means Safety - REACH (va.gov)
    • Store your medication safely.
      • The benefits of proper medication storage and disposal include avoiding accidental consumption or misuse by youth and others in your household. Make sure your medicines are stored safely away from children and minimize the opportunity for misuse by locking them in a safe place.
    • Dispose of medication that is no longer required or expired.
    • If necessary, have a family member or an individual within your support system hand you your medication.

If you or someone you know is experiencing crisis, including thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The lifeline provides 24-hour confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Support is also available via live online chat here: 988 Lifeline Chat and Text - 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Effective 16 July 2022:

Congress designated the number 988 as an easy to remember three-digit dialing, texting, and chat code for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. 

By dialing 988 and then pressing 1, callers will be connected with a counselor who understand the challenges Service Members and their loved ones face. 

The 800 number (800-273-8255, press 1) will remain available, along with the online chat option Service Members can utilize at the Veterans Crisis Line.


988 Lifeline


*988 Elements zip folder can be found here: 2023 Suicide Prevention Month Resources (usmc-mccs.org)

  • I MEF Leaders’ Resource Guide
    • The I MEF Leaders’ Resource Guide lists services available to Marines, Sailors, and their Families within I MEF. The format is designed so that Leaders may quickly scan the contents for resources that meet specific needs. For ease of reference, each resource includes a brief description, as well as contact information.
    • Leader’s Force Preservation Handbook





Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton 24 Hour Duty Chaplain: 760-470-7077

MCAS Miramar 24 Hour Duty Chaplain: 858-864-4368

MCAGCC Twentynine Palms 24 Hour Duty Chaplain: 760-861-4739

1ST MARDIV Chaplain: 760-725-8767

I MEF Chaplain: 760-725-9821

3D MAW Chaplain: 858-307-7368

MAG-13 Chaplain: 928-269-3454

MWSS-371 Chaplain: 928-269-3407

1ST MLG Chaplain: 760-763-9421

I MIG Chaplain: 760-763-2748

Military One Source: 1-800-342-9647

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988 (call & text) / 988 Lifeline Chat and Text - 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (chat)

24/7 Domestic Violence Helpline: 760-500-2633

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Camp Pendleton Directory Assistance: 760-725-4111

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton: 760-725-1288

Naval Medical Center San Diego: 619-532-6400

Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms: 760-830-2190

Branch Health Clinic Yuma: 928-269-2416

Yuma Regional Medical Center: 928-336-2000


DoD Suicide Prevention Office: Defense Suicide Prevention Office (dspo.mil)

Postvention Toolkit for a Military Suicide Loss: Postvention Toolkit for a Military Suicide Loss (dspo.mil)

MCCS Suicide Prevention: Suicide Prevention (usmc-mccs.org)

Lock to Live: Lock To Live | Firearm and Medication Safe Storage Decision Aid (lock2live.org)


988 Lifeline

CDC Suicide Prevention

Postvention Toolkit for a Military Suicide Loss

Suicide Prevention Resource Center




I Marine Expeditionary Force