Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Soldiers killing themselves at record rate












 
 
U.S.A

We owe our freedom to the soldiers who have fought the enemy.
There is another enemy stalking our soldiers today, it is common, lethal and ugly. It is suicide.
I have compiled some excerpts from an article by Med scape.  These have been edited and condensed by me but the content is directly from the article.

Military Records show that Suicide Rates are  going up.
September 26, 2012 — With suicide rates by military personnel reaching all-time highs this summer and rates of psychiatric illnesses in this population — including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression — on the rise, clinicians, members of the US Congress, and even the President are taking action. In August, the US Army confirmed that 26 active-duty soldiers and 12 reserve soldiers died by suicide in July, which is the highest number ever recorded in 1 month in this population. From January through July of this year, a total of 116 active-duty soldiers and 71 reservists are believed to have killed themselves, compared with 165 and 118, respectively, in all of 2011.forward for help...

These sobering rates of military suicides  have grabbed the most recent attention of experts.  A report released last December by the DOD estimates that 18 veterans die by suicide each day. And between 2005 and 2010, active service members took their own lives at an average rate of 1 every 36 hours.
When men and women come home, they need to be able to get into a social life that they had before. And they are not mentally capable of doing it. They are not the same people; and they need to be able to get assistance to be able to assimilate back into normal society. We owe them that much.
Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), cochair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, told Medscape Medical News, with rates of suicide, post traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury rising in recent years, we must ensure we are doing everything we can to treat these invisible wounds of war.

We've learned that keeping soldiers who are already enrolled in PTSD treatment from dropping out is the most important strategy for improving outcomes.
"We've learned that keeping soldiers who are already enrolled in PTSD treatment from dropping out is the most important strategy for improving outcomes. This requires better matching of evidence-based therapies with patient preferences to improve engagement and a patient's willingness to remain in care," said Major Wynn in a recent release.

Treatment services need to be restructured for the 21st century, including creating multidisciplinary teams and placing a greater emphasis on outpatient services, group therapy, and computerized cognitive-behavioral therapy. A noted study published in 2011 in Military Psychology  reported key reasons for this lack of follow-through often include, mistrust of mental health clinicians, a belief that these types of problems can work themselves out on their own, and an overall belief that seeking treatment should be a last resort.
Please see our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.  The largest chapter is on suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.