Suicide statistics rising in the American military

ABC reported that there were 18 cases of suicide in the month of February alone.

Although this number was less than the number of suicides in January, one official military figure stated that the statistics of suicide in the American army is high and worrisome.

At least 24 soldiers committed suicide in January.

The American military is researching the reasons behind these suicides. Out of the 143 cases which seemed like suicide in the previous year, 138 of them were confirmed suicides. The five other cases are still pending.

Islam Times

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Suicide has defeated American Soldiers


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Suicide amongst American soldiers reached its height in 2008.

According to the latest reports by American commanders, 143 American soldiers committed suicide in 2008. The reasons for suicide were severe stress and psychological disorders caused by their extended presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before this, the highest number of suicides amongst American soldiers was 115 in 2007.

American military figures, answered the criticisms of the families of these American soldiers in respects to them being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan by saying that suicide has more than one cause.

At the same time as this report, the English defense forces reported that one fourth of their casualties in Iraq resulted from suicide.

According to this report, from amongst the 178 English soldiers which have been killed in Iraq, 42 of them committed suicide.

Islam Times

U.S. veterans struggle with war stress

The latest and most comprehensive study of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has concluded that nearly 1 in every 5 veterans is suffering from depression or stress disorders and that
many are not getting adequate care.

war veteran

The study shows that mental disorders are more prevalent and lasting than previously known, surfacing belatedly and lingering after troops have been discharged.

Rand Study: Nearly one in five of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer depression or stress

An estimated 300,000 veterans among the nearly 1.7 million who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are battling depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. More than half of these people,
according to the study conducted by the Rand Corp., are slipping through the cracks in the bureaucratic system, going without necessary treatment.

The Rand study underscores one of the lessons of modern counterinsurgency conflicts: Such wars may kill fewer troops than traditional fighting but can leave deeper psychological scars.

Screening techniques for stress disorders are vastly improved from previous wars, making comparisons with Vietnam, Korea or World War II difficult. But a chief difference is that in Iraq and Afghanistan all service members, not just combat infantry, are exposed to roadside bombs and civilian deaths. That distinction subjects a much wider swath of military personnel to the stresses of war.

“We call it ‘360-365’ combat,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. “What that means is veterans are completely surrounded by combat for one year. Nearly all of our
soldiers are under fire, or being subjected to mortar rounds or roadside bombs, or witnessing the deaths of civilians or fellow soldiers.”

Military officials praised the Rand study, saying that its findings were consistent with their own studies, and said it would reinforce efforts to try to improve mental health care. Veterans Affairs
officials, while questioning the study’s methodology, said their department had intensified efforts to find discharged service members suffering from mental disorders.

The Rand Study was undertaken for the California Community Foundation, which also has funded other programs for returning veterans. Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the Army surgeon general, said the study would help draw the nation’s attention.

“They are making this a national debate,” Schoomaker said.

The Army previously has said that an estimated 1 in 6 service members suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a slightly lower rate than the Rand study found. In addition to current PTSD rates, the Rand study found that 19.5% of people who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury during their combat tour, a number similar to Army estimates.

Taken together, the study shows that 31% of those who have served in combat have suffered from brain injury, stress disorder, or both.

Combat-related mental ailments and stress can lead to suicide, homelessness and physical health problems. But more mundane disorders can have long-term social consequences.

Full article