Suicide Rate Out Of Control In The Military

Unbeknownst to most, last October was National Depression Month. In observance of the month the military tried to increase awareness about the issue within the ranks. However, did most of you know it was even National Depression Month? For many of us in the military we do not openly admit when we are feeling “blue” or sad. There is a certain stigma within the military associated with a service member who says he is depressed. I’m not sure if it is a “toughness” thing or not, but the inability for most service members to feel comfortable sharing their moods with their peers and chain of command has consequences. For the past few years the military’s suicide rate has been 12.5 per 100,000 people. This is higher compared to the national average of 11.1 per 100,000 people (Denver Post, 2010, para. 5). According to reporter Colleen O’Connor (2010) “From 2005 to 2009, it said, more than 1,100 service members committed suicide, which is about one suicide every 36 hours” (para. 7). Given this troubling trend the Army for it’s part has created useful web based training programs and the (ASIST) course. The aim of these programs is for recognition of the signs of suicide and early intervention. Whether or not theses programs are effective remains to be seen.

To read more about the alarming rate of suicides in the military,  and read or hear real stories from Veterans, please visit The Frontlines at http://www.thefrontlines.com. Thank you.

Very respectfully,

“Warrant”

askthewarrant@thefrontlines.com

References

Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center atwww.doe.health.mil/media/DCoE_News/DCOE_outreach_center.aspx.

O’Connor, C. (2010). Researchers to seek out explanations for higher suicide rate in military. The Denver Post. Retrieved from www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16453182

Military Mental Health Research. (2010). Retrieved from www.militarymentalhealth.org

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