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Thread: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

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    Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    The Army hit a grim milestone last year when the suicide rate exceeded that of the general population for the first time: 20.2 per 100,000 people in the military, compared with the civilian rate of 19.5 per 100,000. The Army's suicide rate was 12.7 per 100,000 in 2005, 15.3 in 2006 and 16.8 in 2007.
    Ugh reading these kind of things is so grim and sad. You got to wonder what goes on in the heads of our soldiers when they come home and they see that suicide is the only option.

    Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained - WSJ.com
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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Ugh reading these kind of things is so grim and sad. You got to wonder what goes on in the heads of our soldiers when they come home and they see that suicide is the only option.
    This is a horrible epidemic in the Army right now. Army leaders from the top all the way down are fighting hard to deal with this. It is very hard to stop and/or control. The bottom line is taking care of people; identifying who is high-risk and trying to get them help. This means leaders (Corporal to General) have to CARE about their Soldiers and get involved personally in their lives. It's not just young Soldiers that are at risk. It's NCOs and Officers, as well.

    I believe Fort Campbell, KY is having the worst time with this right now. Thier numbers are jaw-dropping. This is a real strain on the force right now.

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    I just can't help but wondering, how one is to deal with this problem? Sometimes saying "war is hell" is reasonable enough, but in this situation that is the problem entirely; it's like trying to churn butter with the intention of not churning butter.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    I just can't help but wondering, how one is to deal with this problem? Sometimes saying "war is hell" is reasonable enough, but in this situation that is the problem entirely; it's like trying to churn butter with the intention of not churning butter.

    It's not just the deployments. Any Soldier on here will attest that we don't exactly "take it easy" in Garrison.

    Here is what the Army has done recently:

    Army G-1 Suicide Prevention Page
    Last edited by kansaswhig; 11-03-09 at 06:11 PM.

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    It's not just the deployments. Any Soldier on here will attest that we don't exactly "take it easy" in Garrison.

    Here is what the Army has done recently:

    Army G-1 Suicide Prevention Page
    How do the numbers correspond to the possibility of deployment?
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    How do the numbers correspond to the possibility of deployment?
    Plenty of them happen overseas. Unfortunately, the Army only reports a suicide in Iraq or AFG as a "non-combat related death". But the suicides in Garrison are for a multitude of reasons. I haven't crunched the numbers. I just know that we are focusing hard on this, as you can imagine.

    Identifying the potential at-risk folks early and getting them help.

    First, we must defeat the stigma attached with it.

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    My husband deals with people suffering from depression and so on all the time - it's his job.
    I have a lot of things I could add but fear violating opsec so I'll choose my words carefully.

    I'll say that the Military has various programs and really try to do their best to detect problems early and intervene as often as possible and find help for soldiers. But suicide isn't something that just suddenly *up and happens* one fine night like a car accident.

    Also, soldiers are trained to keep their emotions canned, they often don't share their feelings and many fear that if they seek help for mental-instability they'll lose their position or get the boot for good.

    Further, some programs are purely optional and information within the ranks lacks - there is a ton of help but *how* to find it isn't the easiest thing to land your hands on.

    The programs - however wonderful - are manned by mostly mlitary members, not necessarily trained profressionals. . . not to insult my husband, he's very good at what he does. . . but there are a lot of situations that leave him strained and stressed. So it's kind of an endless loop.

    Anyway, I've said enough.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 11-03-09 at 06:35 PM.
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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    Plenty of them happen overseas. Unfortunately, the Army only reports a suicide in Iraq or AFG as a "non-combat related death". But the suicides in Garrison are for a multitude of reasons. I haven't crunched the numbers. I just know that we are focusing hard on this, as you can imagine.

    Identifying the potential at-risk folks early and getting them help.

    First, we must defeat the stigma attached with it.
    The Western notion of psychatrists always fascinates me, as it does not seem that putting an at-risk person in a dark room and brood over their troubles should help.

    If that is the step we are taking with soldiers, then we might want to try another method that focuses more on bright things, instead of dreary.

    Overseas? Like Germany and Japan?
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    Overseas? Like Germany and Japan?
    No Iraq and AFG

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    Re: Suicide Toll Fuels Worry That Army Is Strained

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    The Western notion of psychatrists always fascinates me, as it does not seem that putting an at-risk person in a dark room and brood over their troubles should help.

    If that is the step we are taking with soldiers, then we might want to try another method that focuses more on bright things, instead of dreary.

    Overseas? Like Germany and Japan?
    It often helps to have someone to talk to, who is unrelated to you or your situation and who can give advise and maybe prescribe anti-depressants if need be, etc.

    If the wife is wigging out, command doesn't want to hear it and you're afraid you'll be booted from your unit it's nice to have someone on the outside who you can trust to keep your thoughts and feelings private.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

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