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Old 01-31-2008, 08:22 AM   #1
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Soldiers Suicide Rates Increase.

WASHINGTON - As many as 121 Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007, a jump of more than 20 percent over the year before, officials said Thursday.

The rise comes despite numerous efforts over the past year 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 earlier 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 — did so while serving a tour of duty in Iraq, an increase from 27 in Iraq the previous year, according to the preliminary figures.

The report also showed 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 double the 52 reported in 2001, before the Sept. 11 attacks prompted the Bush administration to launch its counter-terror war.

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 101 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.


If anyone is interested there is a great website to send soldiers cards, letters, anything that is listed on the website.

www.anysoldier.com
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Soldiers Suicide Rates Increase.

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Originally posted by JCOSTER

The report also showed 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.
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wow. to me that's just as shocking a number.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:19 PM   #3
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where are the war supporters? and why aren't they spinning this into a good thing? and why don't they consider this absolutely necessary to the removal of Saddam Hussein which was the most important thing that's ever happened?
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Originally posted by Irvine511
where are the war supporters? and why aren't they spinning this into a good thing? and why don't they consider this absolutely necessary to the removal of Saddam Hussein which was the most important thing that's ever happened?
I predict one post saying, "That's a total exxageration" and completely missing the point you're trying to make, one comparing it to the Gulf War and mentioning three UN resolutions Saddam violated, and one saying to vote for Ron Paul to avoid all of this.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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it just amazes me that people who claim to love the armed forces won't even bother pointing something like this out as yet another cost of going to war. seems to me like they hate the soldiers, like they really do think of them as nothing more than cannon fodder.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:38 PM   #6
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Vote for Ron Paul to avoid all of this.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it just amazes me that people who claim to love the armed forces won't even bother pointing something like this out as yet another cost of going to war. seems to me like they hate the soldiers, like they really do think of them as nothing more than cannon fodder.
I think the problem is they don't consciously recognize that their thought process is flawed.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it just amazes me that people who claim to love the armed forces won't even bother pointing something like this out as yet another cost of going to war. seems to me like they hate the soldiers, like they really do think of them as nothing more than cannon fodder.
Overall, the death rate amongst soldiers is much lower than at other times in our country's history - for example, during the Vietnam war.

While leftists and other malcontents will focus on statistics dealing with specific causes of military mortality such as suicides, those with a long term view realise that sacrifices are necessary, and in the broader sweep of history these are just numbers.

In addition, negative stories about the military help to give succour and support to the enemy, and should be avoided.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:06 PM   #9
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Devil's advocate?
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:46 PM   #10
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The suicide rate for American males in 2002 was 17.9 per 100,000.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:17 AM   #11
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Yes it's tragic. Who is really going to care and help them? One of the worst problems that Bush will leave behind.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:18 AM   #12
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ANY death rate among soldiers is sad. Speak to any veteran returning from action. They don't come back the same individuals that they were. War is hell and it fu*k's you in the mind, heart, spirit and soul. Not to mention many of the health problems that plague most veterans.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The suicide rate for American males in 2002 was 17.9 per 100,000.
That's not a good news.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The suicide rate for American males in 2002 was 17.9 per 100,000.


what are the typical characteristics of someone prone to commit suicide, and are soldiers more or less likely to share these characteristics?

it seems to me that the comparison to the average suicide rate isn't what's important here -- in fact, it's almost STING-like in it's ability to divert from what's important -- but what's important is how much that rate has increased.
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:56 PM   #15
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what wanderer neglects here is that 17.9/100,000 is a general statistic.
What would be more helpful is a statistic for suicide rates amongst American soldiers in 2002.

this is a classic example of skewing statistics to support a particular position.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillyfan26

and one saying to vote for Ron Paul to avoid all of this.
So you would do all it takes to go against Ron Paul wouldn't you? How pathetic. I think the real reason you bash Ron Paul so much is because you know that if he was nominated, Clinton or Obama wouldn't be able to use Iraq against him, as they would be able to if anyone else was nominated for the Republicans.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:13 AM   #17
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22,000 veterans have called suicide hot line
Phone line was launched last July after complaints VA wasn't doing enough
The Associated Press
updated 5:05 a.m. ET, Mon., July. 28, 2008


WASHINGTON - More than 22,000 veterans have sought help from a special suicide hot line in its first year, and 1,221 suicides have been averted, the government says.

According to a recent RAND Corp. study, roughly one in five soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, putting them at a higher risk for suicide. Researchers at Portland State University found that male veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide than men who are not veterans.

This month, a former Army medic, Joseph Dwyer, who was shown in a Military Times photograph running through a battle zone carrying an Iraqi boy, died of an accidental overdose after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder for almost five years.

Janet Kemp, national suicide prevention coordinator for the Veterans Affairs Department, said the hot line is in place to help prevent deaths such as Dwyer's. "We just want them to know there's other options and people do care about them, and we can help them make a difference in their lives," she said in an interview.

The VA teamed up with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to launch the hot line last July after years of criticism that the VA wasn't doing enough to help wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In April, two veterans groups sued the VA, citing long delays for processing applications and other problems in treatment for veterans at risk for suicide. The department has spent $2.9 million on the hot line thus far.

The hot line receives up to 250 calls per day — double the average number calling when it began. Kemp said callers are divided evenly between veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars. Richard McKeon, public health adviser for SAMHSA, said 10 to 20 of the 1,575 calls received each week have to be rerouted to high-volume backup call centers throughout the country.

4 out of 5 vets who commit suicide are under VA care
The VA estimates that every year 6,500 veterans take their own lives. The mental health director for the VA, Ira Katz, said in an e-mail last December that of the 18 veterans who commit suicide each day, four to five of them are under VA care, and 12,000 veterans under VA care are attempting suicide each year.

This month, the hot line began an advertising campaign in Washington area subway stations and buses featuring the slogan, "It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help."

The veterans hot line, which is linked to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, received 55,000 callers in its first year, including both veterans and people who are concerned about them, according to figures being released Monday. One-third of the 40 specially trained counselors are veterans themselves.

"We try to get them (callers) to talk about their situation and what they remember and see if they can identify exactly what their issues are. I think there's a comfort in knowing that they can get some help from people who do understand what combat stress is like," Kemp said.

From the call center, counselors instantly can check a veteran's medical records and then connect the caller to local VA suicide prevention coordinators for follow-up, monitoring and care at local VA medical centers. Kemp said that since the hot line started, 106 veterans have been steered to free medical care from the VA.

Kemp said the hot line was put in place specifically for those veterans who don't get enough help until it's too late. "They have indicated to us that they are in extreme danger, either they have guns in their hand or they're standing on a bridge, or they've already swallowed pills," she said. Kemp said 1,221 veterans who were in such situations were rescued during the hot line's first year.

The VA is preparing for the eventual return of a large number of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. This could put added stress on the mental health screening program for returning veterans, which could lead to a rise in undiagnosed mental health issues. The VA recently got enough money to double its suicide prevention staff and is planning to hire 212 more people soon.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 800-273-TALK (8255); veterans should press "1" after being connected.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:29 AM   #18
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So sad. Thank God they are hiring more people to help. I hope it will prevent people from doing themselves in.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomerang96 View Post
wow. to me that's just as shocking a number.
I agree and it is incredibly sad. We send young people to war and when they return home. They don't get the care. They need.

My late step-dad served in Vietnam. He was plagued with horrible nightmares for years. And did he get help from the United States Government? No. It was more of an f-you. Slap in the face. You're not needed anymore. He turned to alcohol. Like many others. He is with God and doesn't suffer anymore.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:16 AM   #20
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Sorry about your step-Dad
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