Suicide in the military

Discussion in 'Old Threads' started by ccheese, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    WASHINGTON — As many as 121 Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007, a jump of some 20 percent over the year before, officials said Thursday.

    The rise comes despite numerous efforts to improve the mental health of a force stressed by a longer-than-expected war in Iraq and the most deadly year yet in the now six-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

    Internal briefing papers prepared by the Army's psychiatry consultant early this month show there were 89 confirmed suicides last year and 32 deaths that are suspected suicides and still under investigation.

    More than a quarter of those — about 34 — happened during deployments in Iraq, an increase from 27 in Iraq the previous year, according to the preliminary figures.

    The report also shows an increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries — some 2,100 in 2007 compared to less than 1,500 the previous year and less than 500 in 2002.

    The total of 121 suicides last year, if all are confirmed, would be more than double the 52 reported in 2001, before the Sept. 11 attacks prompted the Bush administration to launch its counter-terror war. The toll was 87 by 2005 and 102 in 2006.

    Officials said the rate of suicides per 100,000 active duty soldiers has not yet been calculated for 2007. But in a half million-person active duty Army, the 2006 toll of 102 translated to a rate of 17.5 per 100,000, the highest since the Army started counting in 1980, officials said. The rate has fluctuated over those years, with the low being 9.1 per 100,000 in 2001.

    That toll and rate for 2006 is a revision from figures released in August because a number of pending cases have since been concluded. Officials earlier had reported 99 soldiers killed themselves in 2006 and two cases were pending — as opposed to the 102 now confirmed. It's common for investigations to take some time and for officials to study results at length before releasing them publicly.

    Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general, has said that officials found failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and the stress of their jobs have been main factors in soldiers' suicides. Officials also have found that the number of days troops are deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or nearby countries contributes to that stress.

    With the Army stretched thin by years of fighting the two wars, the Pentagon last year extended normal tours of duty to 15 months from 12 and has sent some troops back to the wars several times. The Army has been hoping to reduce tour lengths this summer. But the prospect could depend heavily on what Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, recommends when he gives his assessment of security in Iraq and troop needs to Congress in April.

    A succession of studies on mental health in the military have found a system that might have been adequate for peacetime has been overwhelmed by troops coming home from war. Some troop surveys in Iraq have shown that 20 percent of Army soldiers have signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, which can cause flashbacks of traumatic combat experiences and other severe reactions. About 35 percent of soldiers are seeking some kind of mental health treatment a year after returning home under a program that screens returning troops for physical and mental health problems, officials have said.

    Officials have worked to set up a number of new programs and strengthen old ones for providing mental health care to the force. The Army also has been working to stem the stigma associated with getting therapy for mental problems, after officials found that troops are avoiding counseling out of fear it could harm their careers.

    This from Fox news…… I was not aware that this was a big problem for our armed forces.

    Charles
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    We had a guy commit suicide on our camp when I was in Iraq. He was not from my unit however.

    Our armed forces are under a lot of pressure. Most soldiers are on there 3rd tour to a combat zone in 5 years. Hell if I had not gotten out of the Army I would be on my 3rd tour right now at this very moment.

    The problem though is not that the soldiers are being deployed. It is because they are not getting eneogh time between combat tours to recieve the help they need and to help there families.

    The Divorce rate in the Army is very high right now because the families are falling apart with the soldiers gone all the time.

    The government needs to address this problem and get the help to the soldiers that they need.

    Post Combat Stress Disorder is a very real thing!
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I knew a guy that hung himself in his dorm room before a 3 - day weekend. He wasnt discovered for 4 days....
     
  4. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    We had a 19 - 20 year old solider that shot himself in the head while on guard duty. The Command told his parents that there was an accidental discharge of his .45 cal. Colt while he was cleaning it. We were on the German border at the time. The Army in their wisdom would only let us have one 45 round, M16s, were issued 5 rounds each.

    DBII
     
  5. joy17782

    joy17782 Member

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    One guy in my unit in korea shot himself, after his wife had him served with divorce papers . He just came over from Ait . what i saw of him he was a ok guy .But adler is right . The army needs to do more for the guys .And the VA needs too screen these guys too after there out .Its the right thing too do for are vets
     
  6. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Agreed.

    DBII
     
  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I knew a guy in my old unit who hung himself. Was only about 22.
     
  8. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I never knew of anyone who took his own life, while I was in the Navy, but
    in Nam I talked to the medics who told me about guys shooting themselves
    in the hand or foot to get sent out of Nam .... Usually to Japan. PTSD is
    alive and well... believe me.

    Charles
     
  9. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    So true charles, in the navy were gone for longer periods with no word from our families except for writing, the weird thing is that nav has a psch. screening going on during boot and later, (sorry nowadays they do) but still our sui rate is down compared to the fight for independence, very little is written about it, but it was high. the english had the worst.
     
  10. SeaSkua

    SeaSkua Member

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    Isnt the rate of military suicide actualy LOWER than the national average for CIVILIANS?
     
  11. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Yes i believe it is but you have to look at the number of enlisted and the number of civilians
     
  12. kitin

    kitin New Member

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    that is so sad...things like this really bring pressure and some just can't handle it and takes suicide as the way to get out of it...sad but true...
     
  13. F-14

    F-14 Member

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    this is a issue not only limited to the Armed forces of the USA sadly so even in india we have similar Suicide rates due to the same factors and most of it happens in the J&K state . after all the solider is also a human
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    In the past, many young Polish soldiers committed suicide from different reasons.But now this tendency has decreased because the time of being a soldier got shorter.Among professionals these cases are very very rare.
     
  15. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The guys often don't know what they're venturing into, that's the problem, and people are getting sick from it, depression stress quickly showing its ugly face. Preperation education is the means of getting out this situation, but guess what "It's too expensive"! :rolleyes:

    I truly feel sad for all the families who lost their loved ones to suicide because the military didn't prepare, educate or care for them well enough.
     
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