Tag Archives: Army suicides

Suicides Continue Rising In Military

Nine long years ago, the United States confronted a choice: should the nation accept the challenge of dealing with world wide terrorist groups or should the task be handed over to the 1.5 million serving in the armed forces. We know the answer– instead of meeting economic, military and social needs, the American people turned away and placed the entire burden on the backs of 1% of the population. The American armed forces are stretched thin, they have been compelled to accept burdens no previous force in our history was asked to assume. It is not surprising that suicide rates are the highest ever in our society. June was a terrible month in which there were 32 suicides, 21 by those who were active members of the military and 11 by those serving in National Guard units. AS Colonel Christopher Philbrick explained: The hypothesis is the same that you may have heard me say before: continued stress on the armed forces.” Period!

Suicide rates for civilians is 18 per 100,000 and for the military it is 22 per 100,000. It has been said over and over: the American military can not shoulder the burden alone. It requires a larger armed force and we must institute a draft t ensure equity in society rather than ask those who need economic benefits from the military to be the ones on the front line.

Army Mental Woes Continue

Suicides among members of the military and veterans made a significant decline in the past two months, but researchers also discovered that 37% of soldiers who participated in the war in Afghanistan were seeking health care at Veteran Affairs clinics for illnesses that were being diagnosed as stemming from mental disorders. One may conclude that members of the active military are more reluctant to inform anyone they have mental issues, but once out of the service it appears more likely those individuals will talk about it at a VA hospital.

The interesting statistic coming out of the Pentagon is that suicides dropped rather dramatically over the past few months. No one knows why this is happening. Are Army programs for suicide prevention working? Are there other factors playing into the mix?

Bush’s Military Legacy!

George Bush is resting in Texas, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are living good lives and will never suffer from the financial crisis which impacts the nation. As the former president cuts wood and pretends he knows something about being a cowboy, does he ever reflect on what he did to the lives of thousands of young men and women in this country? Army officials now estimate that as many as 18 soldiers killed themselves in February. Two are confirmed as suicides and the remaining 16 are under investigation. Seventeen of the dead are male, one female, and 14 occurred in the United States while four were overseas. Last year, eleven soldiers committed suicide. February’s figures did represent a slight drop from the 24 suicides in January.

Bush defenders undoubtedly will argue he can not be blamed for each and every soldier who commits suicide. One assumes they believe these men and women would have killed themselves had there been no Iraq war. George Bush tried to hide the fact people were dying by not allowing photos of returning coffins. However, he cannot cover up the deaths caused by suicide.

US Army Suicides Set Record In 2007!

American army officials revealed there was a record number of suicides in 2007 and that combat has filled the cups of many soldirs to the brim causing them to seek the way out of death. According to Col. Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatric consultnat to the Army Surgeon General, “the Army is very, very busy, and perhaps we haven’t taken care of each other as much as we’d like to.” Of those who committed suicide in 2007, 26% had never been deployed, another 24% had deployed once, while 7% had deployed more than once. Another 43% killed themselves after returning home. Overall, there were 117 active duty suicides in 2007 which represents an increase of 13 over 2006.

The numbers were up in other categories as well. In 2006, eighty of the soldiers who attempted suicide had seen others killed in combat, the 2007 figure was 93. In 2006, 39 of those who attempted suicide had killed others in combat while the figure in 2007 was 54. The 2007 suicide numbers include 33 mobilized National guard soldiers.

The US army has hired an additional 180 mental health personnel to work with issues of stress in combat and stress after returning home. in terms of the overall figue of 30,000 wounded and 4,000 dead, the figure of 117 may appear low, but the cost of fighting in Iraq has yet to be fully calculated and the nation will not know that final figure for many years to come.

Number Of Suicides Continues Rise In The Army

The United States Army has been attempting over the past few years to address issues that lead members of the military to kill themselves, but the latest figures indicate success is far from an accomplished goal. As many as 121 soldiers commtted suicide in 2007 wich is an increase of 20% over the figures for 2006. The number who have tried to commit sicide or injured themselves for some other reason jumped six-fold in the last several years– from 350 in 2002 to about 2,100 incidents last year. These incidents come despite a host of efforts to improvemental health care that arises from being deployed and redeployed over an extended period of time. According to Col. Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general, “We have been perturbed by the rise despite all of our efforts.”

Statistically, the rate of suicide per 100,000 men has risen from a low of 9.1% in 2001 to a high of 17.5% in 2006. Most probably long extended separation from spouse, children and family has been a factor resulting in attempts at suicide. Orindarily, people don’t attempt suicide as a result of direct encounter with combat, but it more often occurs during periods of depression brought on by personal and family issues.

Senator John McCain recently said American troops might be in the Middle East for about another “100 years.” If so, we can expect continued mental health issues.

Record Suicide Rate Among Soldiers This Year

A record number of soldiers have killed themselves this year–109–according to Army statistics. The sharp rise in the number of suicides is partially attributed to longer deployments which create additional stress upon individuals and families. The highest previous number of Army suicides since 1990 was in 1992– a period when the army was twenty percent larger in size. A total of 109 suicides would equal a rate of 18.4 per 100,000, the highest since the army began counting in 1980. The civilian rate was 11 per 100,000 in 2004. Senator Pat Murray, noted, “I’m surprised at the suicide increase. But when we’re not doing everything we can to deal with mental health, when we know the Army is under such stress, it’s not a surprise. It has to be a wake up call.”

There have been repeated complaints from a variety of mental health, political, and social groups concerning the enormous stress being placed on fighting men and women who serve two or three deployments in Iraq with no end in sight. The armed forces either have to cease such extensive fighting or face the reality of introducing a draft in order to alleviate the stress imposed on those in combat.