Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Support our troops

And stop this madness:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One week after the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers last year, the service is worried about a spike in possible suicides in the new year.

The Army said 24 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in January alone -- six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, according to statistics released Thursday.

The Army said it already has confirmed seven suicides, with 17 additional cases pending that it believes investigators will confirm as suicides for January.

If those prove true, more soldiers will have killed themselves than died in combat last month. According to Pentagon statistics, there were 16 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq in January.

"This is terrifying," an Army official said. "We do not know what is going on."

Col. Kathy Platoni, chief clinical psychologist for the Army Reserve and National Guard, said that the long, cold months of winter could be a major contributor to the January spike.

"There is more hopelessness and helplessness because everything is so dreary and cold," she said.

But Platoni said she sees the multiple deployments, stigma associated with seeking treatment and the excessive use of anti-depressants as ongoing concerns for mental-health professionals who work with soldiers.

Those who are seeking mental-health care often have their treatment disrupted by deployments. Deployed soldiers also have to deal with the stress of separations from families
(Via the Sailor of SteveAudio).


mapaghimagsik said...

Perhaps we need to get off this "support the troops idea" and get more into supporting people in general.

DB said...

I am not military, but I live and work on an overseas base and I can tell you that this problem is a huge concern among the commanders. This past Tuesday this was addressed at the command meeting and radio/tv announcements are constant. It is unfortunate that we have let this situation get this bad.

ellroon said...

Amen, Map and DB.

We can't send soldiers into battle without the population in full support and the Iraq war is obviously wrong.

We can't send only a few while declaring this war is a matter of life or death to our nation.

We can't continue to use up and throw out these soldiers after endless redeployments.

We need to get out of there and put our society on alert to help these homecoming soldiers.