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Thread: Suicides are surging among US troops * Article may be graphic for some*

  1. Justice Beaver: The Crime Fighting Beaver
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    #1

    Suicides are surging among US troops * Article may be graphic for some*

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    Full article: AP IMPACT: Suicides are surging among US troops - WTOP.com

    The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan _ about 50 percent more _ according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.

    The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago. The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.

    Because suicides had leveled off in 2010 and 2011, this year's upswing has caught some officials by surprise.

    The reasons for the increase are not fully understood. Among explanations, studies have pointed to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed
    The renewed surge in suicides has caught the attention of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Last month he sent an internal memo to the Pentagon's top civilian and military leaders in which he called suicide "one of the most complex and urgent problems" facing the Defense Department, according to a copy provided to the AP.

    Panetta touched on one of the most sensitive aspects of the problem: the stigma associated seeking help for mental distress. This is particularly acute in the military.

    "We must continue to fight to eliminate the stigma from those with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues," Panetta wrote, adding that commanders "cannot tolerate any actions that belittle, haze, humiliate or ostracize any individual, especially those who require or are responsibly seeking professional services."
    I hope this idea that "going for help is a sign of weakness" begins to fade out and the military continues to strengthen it's resources for fighting depression and PTSD.

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    #2
    My DH felt like the mental health options while he was active duty were "a total joke." It's a really sad situation.

    I feel for the families as well.
  3. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #3
    That's very true. I remember in AS class (Aerospace Studies, aka ROTC class), we were trained how to handle personnel that we felt were mentally unstable and I just felt that it was so...lacking.
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    #4



    "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - President Ronald Reagan
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    #5
    it's very sad. The stigma will be there, but educating members can save lives. More resources are needed desperately on the VA side of the house as well.

    Of course, when you have the leader of one the largest Army installations publicly saying that they're "fed up" with those who commit suicide, what message does that send?
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    #6
    That's sad. We see many, many active duty service members at my place of work. From what I've seen and depending on why they've come in, seeking help can and does affect some of their careers.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

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  7. The LDR that never ends..
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    #7
    DB's been really struggling lately, he finally said he would go to the counselor as a last resort and well its a last resort. I'm just happy he's willing to go and to talk to me about his emotions. I'm going into the counseling field, and every year when they post the statistics I bust out in because we're just not doing enough. It doesn't help that if you have a mental health problem the military see's you as a liability and wants you gone--so if you want a career you don't get help you might need.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyGirlfriend-x View Post
    DB's been really struggling lately, he finally said he would go to the counselor as a last resort and well its a last resort. I'm just happy he's willing to go and to talk to me about his emotions. I'm going into the counseling field, and every year when they post the statistics I bust out in because we're just not doing enough.
    I hope this helps both of you.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
  9. Account Closed
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    #9
    This has been on my mind lately.
  10. Just another guy
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    #10
    I would argue that the economic downturn and the lowering employment prospects of mostly uneducated veterans who are being kicked out and not retained is leading to more suicide that anything else. Isn't economic instability and insecurity a leading cause of suicide.
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